Kyle Buchanan‘s Vulture article about the about-to-launch Oscar season (“The Unsettled, Unsettling Oscars“) riffs every which way but basically posts the following ten intuitions or suspicions:

(1) “It’s a weird year…not that much I’m looking forward to…no one movie that I feel certain is going to get a Best Picture nomination”; 

(2) The Birth of a Nation is Best Picture toast (“It was good enough for the narrative it had at Sundance, but it’s not good enough to withstand what’s happening now”); 

(3) But given the general compulsion among Academy and guild members to “get their black on,” Fences and Moonlight will almost certainly benefit from Nate Parker‘s fall from the pedestal; 

(4) Manchester By The Sea is “a downer for sure”…an unfounded slur as there’s a distinct difference between downer and sad (and keep in mind that Buchanan himself wasn’t a huge fan when he tweeted about Manchester last January); 

(5) Buchanan believes that “if voters crave a fizzy counterbalance to Manchester, I think they’ll flock to Florence Foster Jenkins“…wrong! Except for a possible knee-jerk Best Actress nomination for Meryl Streep and a supporting actor nom for Hugh Grant, Florence doesn’t have the weight or the edge.

(6) Buchanan is persuaded that Clint Eastwood‘s Sully is an award-season non-starter given its too-early September 9th release date; 

(7) He also believes that “the jury is still out” on Morten Tyldum‘s Passengers, but I’ve read the script and I’m telling you this is a production design and FX nominee…at best; 

(8) Buchanan wonders if The Weinstein Co. may be too financially strapped to mount effective award-season campaigns for Garth Davis‘s Lion, Stephen Gaghan‘s Gold and John Lee Hancock‘s The Founder….but everyone I’ve spoken to is saying that Lion and The Founder don’t have the chops to go for Best Picture; 

(9) Ben Affleck’s Live by Night “will crash the year-end party.”

(10) Kyle doesn’t even mention Warren Beatty‘s Rules Don’t Apply, despite a certain big-city critic having seen it and admired it greatly and confided that it’ll be applauded by the Academy “mooks.”

There are other highlights, but the one that sticks in my craw is “it feels like a really weird year.”