Sunday, January 23, 2011

2011 Oscar Predictions: "Why Not?"

To paraphrase The Cranberries... everybody else is doing it, so can't I? And trust me, there are some people doing it that, quite literally, haven't the foggiest idea what they're doing. It baffles me that even people who run famous Oscar watching websites don't even know eligibility rules for major films, but there you go. Because I don't claim to be an expert I can have a bit of play around with the nominations, which is what I've done. So, let's take a stab at these things, shall we?

Best Picture:
Black Swan
The Fighter
The Kids are All Right
The King's Speech
The Social Network
The Town
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter's Bone
alt: 127 Hours

The final spot it definitely a battle, I think, between The Town, Winter's Bone and 127 Hours. I gave the edge to the first two because I imagine they'll benefit from preferential balloting and #1 slots respectively. Personally, I'd prefer 127 Hours over Winter's Bone, but there's a bunch of titles in the entire top ten that I could do without being nominated so it's six of one half a dozen of the other, really.

Best Director:
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, True Grit
David Fincher, The Social Network
Tom Hooper, The King's Speech
Christopher Nolan, Inception
David O Russell, The Fighter
alt: Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan

Conventional wisdom seems to suggest Aronofsky getting in over the Coen's because his film would've been the likelier top 5 contender in a regular year, but I'm going with the filmmaking brothers in a sort of Woody Allen type nomination (he of the ubiquitous "lone director" nominations) for a directing team that are obvious well respected. I just feel incredibly nervous for Darren Aronofsky in a "Moulin Rouge!-directed-itself" kinda way.

Best Actor:
Javier Bardem, Biutiful
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours
alt: Robert Duvall, Get Low

Firstly, I chose Javier Bardem as a sort of "Tommy Lee Jones from In the Valley of Elah" style it-seems-so-obvious-yet-didn't-quite-see-it-coming nomination. And as much as I'd love to predict Ryan Gosling for his best of the year work in Blue Valentine, with so many young'ns in the field, I imagine many might put down the soft lob of Duvall if they veer away from my predicted five.

Best Actress:
Annette Bening, The Kids are All Right
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
alt: Hilary Swank, Conviction

Oh how I worry for Nicole Kidman. She's been right in there all season, but never winning. That's the sort of position that can lead to complacency from voters. Hailee Steinfeld, however, will wind up here, I suspect, much like Kate Winslet did for The Reader (something I correctly predicted, mind you). She did get the BAFTA nod for lead after all and that is, I think, quite telling.

Best Supporting Actor:
Christian Bale, The Fighter
Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids are All Right
Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech
alt: Sam Rockwell, Conviction

I am not at all confident about Garfield or Ruffalo, but have stuck with them anyway. I'd love to see John Hawkes surprise for Winter's Bone, but I'm just not sure how.

Best Supporting Actress:
Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King's Speech
Mia Kunis, Black Swan
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom
alt: Barbra Hershey, Black Swan

Supporting Actress is always the first category announced on nomination morning so by the time the five nominees have been announced I will be either incredible ecstatic to pay attention to the rest of the nominees or too miserable to pay attention to the rest of the nominees. If I could have any Oscar morning wish it would be for Jacki Weaver to get nominated. We're officially on red alert for her, but I think if Steinfeld gets the bump to the lead race like I expect then we'll be seeing Weaver's face pop up on the monitor.

Best Original Screenplay:
Blue Valentine
The Fighter
The Kid's are All Right
The King's Speech
alt: Another Year

Kinda going off on a tangent with these nominations, but the writing categories have been surprisingly keen lately to honour the films that aren't getting noticed elsewhere and I suspect Blue Valentine will rank highly enough on enough ballots to get nominated.

Best Adapted Screenplay:
The Ghost Writer
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter's Bone
alt: 127 Hours

Yeah, by this stage we're all just theorising on one spot since four of these are locked up. It won't make much of a difference either way, right? I'm figuring the writer's branch will find more to like in The Ghost Writer's adaptation (plus novelty factor of high profile writer) than 127 Hours which, at least for me, finds its strengths elsewhere than the screenplay.

Best Cinematography:
127 Hours
Black Swan
I Am Love
True Grit
alt: The Social Network

Okay, I Am Love is obviously wishful thinking, but I'm holding out hope for a Malèna style nomination, okay? I can dream, can't it? Either way, I'll just be thankful for any lineup that doesn't include The King's Speech's gaudy lenses. Please!

Best Art Direction:
Alice in Wonderland
The King's Speech
Shutter Island
True Grit
alt: Black Swan

I don't really have anything to say about this category. Sometimes they nominate certain things and sometimes they don't. Who can tell, really?

Best Costume Design:
Black Swan
The King's Speech
Robin Hood
True Grit
alt: Alice in Wonderland

Just a completely random idea to throw out Alice in Wonderland. I'm absolutely positive it will indeed get a nomination for Colleen Atwood, but... I just want to throw it out on the off chance they do indeed snub her and I can be all "see, I knew they wouldn't nominate that trash." Of course, I'm then predicting Robin Hood, so... er... ummm...

Best Film Editing:
Black Swan
The King's Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network
alt: The Fighter

I dunno. All six of these films have aspects that I can see the Academy responding too. I'm just banking on some sort of boxing movie fatigue with The Fighter (although the editors branch could just as easily be turned on by the inserting of documentary footage as they are turned off by the routine boxing sequences.) To quote Lisa Simpson: Like, ya know... whatever!

Best Make-Up:
Alice in Wonderland
True Grit
The Wolfman
alt: The Way Back

I typed "The W---" and left it blank for several minutes as I tried to decide which movie to predict. I went with The Wolfman, but I can easily see it being left off in favour of, well, anything, really? Same goes for True Grit, but I feel confident that that's film's prestige will get it across the line.

Best Visual Effects:
Alice in Wonderland
Iron Man 2
Scott Pilgrim vs The World
TRON: Legacy
alt: Harry Potter and the I've Forgotten It's Name For Real, Part 1

Yeah? I dunno. Why is this category five wide again?

Best Music - Original Score:
Alice in Wonderland
How to Train Your Dragon
The King's Speech
The Social Network
alt: The Illusionist

Alexandre Desplat, almost always getting nominated for the wrong score entirely. This year it's The King's Speech over (apparently) The Ghost Writer. Hmmm. So disappointing since I thought this year had so many great scores. They really do need to reinstate that adapted/song score category though, don't they?

Best Music - Original Song:
"Welcome to Burlesque" from Burlesque
"You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" from Burlesque
"Coming Home" from Country Strong
"I See the Light" from Tangled
"We Belong Together" from Toy Story 3
alt: "Shine" from Waiting for Superman

I will be happy as long as something from Burlesque is nominated!

Best Sound Editing:
Black Swan
How to Train Your Dragon
127 Hours
Toy Story 3
alt: True Grit

I went back and forth. Settled on this combination. looks decent enough, right? (rhetorical question, don't answer that!)

Best Sound Mixing:
Black Swan
The Social Network
True Grit
alt: Salt

Again, who really knows? These categories occasionally throw up really weird stuff.

Best Animated Feature:
How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3
alt: Tangled

I haven't seen Tangled yet, but gosh I really hope The Illusionist really snags that final contested slot. Or, if not that, then something like My Dog Tulip or Idiots and Angels that will throw people for a loop like they did last year with The Secret of Kells. Do we really need Despicable Me nominated? Why not just nominate Kim Possible: The Movie while you're at it?

Best Documentary Feature:
Inside Job
The Tillman
Waiting for Superman
alt: William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe

I can see all the contenders being nominated, to tell you the truth. And, for what it's worth, that includes Exit Through the Gift Shop. If it got this far...

Best Foreign Language Film:
Incendies from Canada
In a Better World from Denmark
Biutiful from Mexico
Life Above All from South Africa
Even the Rain from Spain
alt: Dogtooth from Greece (for laughs)

Again, it's a total throw-the-darts idea for the final spot and I went with Spain since it sounds like the where-did-that-come-from surprise that is always there due to the tiny nature of the branch.

I'm not going to predict the short categories since I can't even fake having any true knowledge about them at all. We'll see how we go when the nominations are announced Tuesday American time, which I believe is usually about Midnight on Wednesday here. What fun.

1 comment:

Walter L. Hollmann said...

Brave man predicting the Foreign branch. Your Supporting Actress predix looks more believable than mine, but your Actress ones match mine. I'm pissed they limited the number of slots for Song per movie to two: Burlesque should get all of them.

I just can't wait to see Mo'Nique Tuesday morn!