94th Academy Awards: Predictions

There are just a few mere hours until this year’s Oscars ceremony, and the team at Rating Frames are feeling more excited than ever, eagerly awaiting the live telecast and yearning to see who will be victorious.

As with most cinephiles, the three resident writers at this site have been making their prognostications as to what, or who, will win in each category, and will be putting them to the test come Monday morning, when the ceremony is scheduled to begin Melbourne time.

Below are the films that Arnel, Darcy and Tom are predicting will walk away with a coveted statuette at the 94th Academy Awards, and their personal vote, in each category.

Best Picture

What will win // What deserves to win

Arnel: The Power of the Dog // Licorice Pizza

Darcy: CODA // Drive My Car

Tom: The Power of the Dog // Drive My Car

Best Director

Arnel: Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog) // Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza)

Darcy: Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog) // Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza)

Tom: Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog) // Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car)

Best Actor

Arnel: Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog) // Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog)

Darcy: Will Smith (King Richard) // Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog)

Tom: Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog) // Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog)

Best Actress

Arnel: Kristen Stewart (Spencer) // Kristen Stewart (Spencer)

Darcy: Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye) // Penélope Cruz (Parallel Mothers)

Tom: Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye) // Kristen Stewart (Spencer)

Best Supporting Actor

Arnel: Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog) // Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog)

Darcy: Troy Kotsur (CODA) // Kodi Smit-Mcphee (The Power of the Dog)

Tom: Troy Kotsur (CODA) // Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog)

Best Supporting Actress

Arnel: Kristen Dunst (The Power of the Dog) // Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter)

Darcy: Ariana DeBose (West Side Story) // Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter)

Tom: Ariana DeBose (West Side Story) // Kirsten Dunst (The Power of the Dog)

Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman in Licorice Pizza
Best Original Screenplay

Arnel: Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza) // Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza)

Darcy: Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza) // Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza)

Tom: Kenneth Branagh (Belfast) // Eskil Vogt & Joachim Trier (The Worst Person in the World)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Arnel: Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog) // Jon Spaihts, Dennis Villeneuve & Eric Roth (Dune)

Darcy: Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog) // Ryusuke Hamaguchi & Takamasa Oe (Drive Me Car)

Tom: Sian Heder (CODA) // Ryusuke Hamaguchi & Takamasa Oe (Drive Me Car)

Best Animated Feature

Arnel: Encanto // The Mitchells vs The Machines

Darcy: Encanto // The Mitchells vs The Machines

Tom: Encanto // The Mitchells vs The Machines

Best International Feature

Arnel: Drive My Car // The Worst Person in the World

Darcy: Drive My Car // Drive My Car

Tom: Drive My Car // Drive My Car

Best Documentary Feature

Arnel: Summer of Soul // Summer of Soul

Darcy: Summer of Soul // Flee

Tom: Summer of Soul // Summer of Soul

Stevie Wonder performing at the Harlem Cultural Festival, as seen in Summer of Soul
Best Documentary Short Subject

Arnel: The Queen of Basketball

Darcy: The Queen of Basketball

Tom: The Queen of Basketball

Best Live-Action Short

Arnel: On My Mind

Darcy: The Long Goodbye

Tom: The Long Goodbye

Best Animated Short

Arnel: Bestia

Darcy: Robin Robin

Tom: Bestia

Best Original Score

Arnel: Hans Zimmer (Dune) // Hans Zimmer (Dune)

Darcy: Hans Zimmer (Dune) // Jonny Greenwood (The Power of the Dog)

Tom: Hans Zimmer (Dune) // Hans Zimmer (Dune)

Best Original Song

Arnel: No Time to Die // No Time to Die

Darcy: No Time to Die // No Time to Die

Tom: No Time to Die // Encanto

Timothee Chalamet in Dune
Best Sound

Arnel: Dune // Dune

Darcy: Dune // Dune

Tom: Dune // Dune

Best Production Design

Arnel: Dune // Dune

Darcy: Dune // Dune

Tom: Dune // Dune

Best Cinematography

Arnel: Greig Fraser (Dune) // Greig Fraser (Dune)

Darcy: Greig Fraser (Dune) // Greig Fraser (Dune)

Tom: Greig Fraser (Dune) // Greig Fraser (Dune)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Arnel: Cruella // House of Gucci

Darcy: The Eyes of Tammy Faye // The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Tom: The Eyes of Tammy Faye // Cruella

Best Costume Design

Arnel: Jenny Beavan (Cruella) // Jenny Beavan (Cruella)

Darcy: Jenny Beavan (Cruella) // Jenny Beavan (Cruella)

Tom: Jenny Beavan (Cruella) // Jenny Beavan (Cruella)

Best Film Editing

Arnel: Joe Walker (Dune) // Joe Walker (Dune)

Darcy: Joe Walker (Dune)// Peter Sciberras (The Power of the Dog)

Tom: Joe Walker (Dune)// Joe Walker (Dune)

Best Visual Effects

Arnel: Dune // Dune

Darcy: Dune // Dune

Tom: Dune // Spider-Man: No Way Home

Greyhound: Tom Hanks Writes and Stars in WW2 Thriller

Rating: 2 out of 5.

With WW2 and war films continuing to permeate film culture, it is no surprise that Tom Hanks would find himself at the helm of a war destroyer in open seas. Greyhound (2020) represents Apple TV’s first proper dip into distribution of a large scale film, and for the most part, it is a clear and simple adaptation of C.S. Forester’s 1955 novel, The Good Shepherd.

The film centres around Ernest Krause (Tom Hanks), a US Navy Commander who has the mission of escorting a large convoy across the Atlantic during WW2 while German U-boats (submarines) stand in the convoys way. With air support unavailable in the central part of the journey (known as the ‘Black Pit’) due to the range, it is up to Krause and his crew to keep the convoy afloat as they carry their supplies to Allies.

Unlike Hanks’ prior performances in war films Saving Private Ryan (1998) and sea escapades like Captain Phillips (2013), Greyhound sees the two-time Oscar winning actor play a more fixed and vocal role. This isn’t necessarily a drawback of the film as Hanks’ screenplay cuts out all of the fat and exposition that often subsumes most war films, and instead settles on the action at sea and the man at its centre.

Director Aaron Schneider, known for Get Low (2009) and Two Soldiers (2003), complements Hank’s more vocal and contemplative temperament by focusing in on the tension of the battles and the ferocity of the sea. Schneider keeps most of the film centred on the bridge of the ship in order to effectively heighten the tension of each given moment and capture the spacial limitations and helplessness of being out at sea. This makes for plenty of thrilling moments as the German U-boats circle like a pack of wolves (as they assert) while Krause and his crew yell out bearings and directions.

Tom Hanks in Greyhound

In terms of some of the production aspects, the action and battle scenes are predominately CGI’d, but they hold up for a budget of US $55 million. Also, Blake Neely’s score complements the CGI’d battles in its low tone that has a constant sonar echo, and the dull green/grey colour palette is fitting for the period being depicted.

When comparing the film to other war films of recent like Dunkirk (2017) and Hacksaw Ridge (2016), Greyhound is more limited in its scope and ambitions. Not much is known about the character of Ernest Krause; there is a brief insight into his past as a commander at Pearl Harbour as well as a pre-Greyhound scene involving his significant other. However, for the most part, Hanks and Schneider want to keep the attention solely around the ship itself in order to immerse audiences in the Greyhound ship experience.

For what it’s worth, that on-ship isolation works in removing all the weight of narrative expectations that some might see as being essential (including yours truly). However, unlike something like the aforementioned Dunkirk, the same level of practicality that comes with a Nolan war film and the diversity of tense moments isn’t the same here. That might be due to the lack of space that comes with being at sea, or it might be the repetitive nature of the films events that Hanks and Schneider knuckle down on. Regardless, there isn’t much leg room to wiggle into backstory and character building that one might expect.

For a first major feature on Apple TV, Greyhound is rife with Navy lingo and sea battles, and with Tom Hanks at the helm, it makes sense that it received Oscar nominations this past year. As a war film, it isn’t as compelling as some of the films mentioned, but it is clear in its focus and objective and for the most part, it manages to provide an engaging viewing experience.

Greyhound is streaming on Apple TV