Newsletter: ‘Black Panther’ runs strong with Oscar voters


The clearest indication of a movie’s strength with Oscar voters is its popularity within the film academy’s various branches. And on that count, the forecast is excellent for “Black Panther” to become the first superhero movie to earn a nomination for best picture.

Welcome to the Gold Standard, the newsletter from the Los Angeles Times that helps guide you through the ins and outs of the awards season leading up to the Oscars.

I’m Glenn Whipp, The Times’ awards columnist and your newsletter host.

Oscar predictions for the craft categories


With voting for Oscar nominations beginning Monday, I ran through a number of categories — production design, cinematography, film editing, costume design, makeup and hairstyling, sound editing and mixing, and visual effects. Collectively, as mentioned, the numbers look good for “Black Panther” and, perhaps, “First Man,” Damien Chazelle’s underappreciated look at the relentless effort to put a man on the moon.

And given that Oscar balloting is about to begin, 14 Times staff writers, contributors and critics offered candidates who have thus far been largely overlooked by awards season voters. (I nominated this guy.)

Writer-director Adam McKay’s film, “Vice,” takes a deep dive into the life and political rise of Dick Cheney.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Adam McKay on ‘Vice’: ‘By the end, the movie’s a grand tragedy’

Adam McKay’s “Vice,” an ambitious movie about the life of Dick Cheney and the corrupting power of politics, is up for a leading six Golden Globes nominations Sunday.

I spoke to McKay at length about the film, and the conversation naturally found its way to a number of shared passions — the power and necessity of unions, “The Godfather Part II” and the Baby Jesus prayer in “Talladega Nights,” which McKay cites as the favorite scene he has ever directed.


“My whole idea was to understand how power can twist someone,” McKay says of his impulse to make “Vice.” “I think by the end, the movie’s a grand tragedy. I think he’s given everything away. I don’t think that’s going soft on someone at all, saying that he ends with an emptiness. His family is split apart. His country is split apart. And it was all for this power they were chasing that metastasized by the end.”

Yes, that’s right, the Golden Globes coming on Sunday

What should we be anticipating for the ceremony, co-hosted by Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg? I ran down five key areas of interest, speculating on how many Globes Bradley Cooper might win and how many “Big Lebowski” references Jeff Bridges might drop.

You can follow The Times’ complete coverage of the ceremony by visiting our Golden Globes page. Need a reminder of this year’s nominees? Go here. The show starts at 5 p.m. (The bar opens a couple of hours earlier. Order me a White Russian.)


Twitter: @glennwhipp