My First Oscar Blog Post of the Season! The nominations were just recently announced and I thought I should give some insight here on my blog. First, let me start off by saying how the Academy wrongly snubbed the following: Christopher Nolan for Directing (Inception), Lee Smith for Editing (Inception), and Andrew Garfield for Best Supporting Actor (The Social Network). I could go on because I strongly disagree with some of the choices that they picked, but I won’t because the Academy Award nominations turned out fairly close to how I expected to turn out. Sure, Carlos got snubbed everywhere, but then again, Carlos was not popular in the USA as much as it is overseas. However, the Academy did surprise me with some excellent choices such as the brilliant pick of Exit through the Gift Shop for Best Documentary (my personal #2 of 2010). Among other excellent surprises, this set of nominees is a lot better than last year’s. We have 10 films in the Best Picture race that I would say are, at the very least, above average in quality. So, without further ado, I will now make my official predictions as to the winners of the 2010 Academy Awards and explanations for the respective predictions. (P.S. I’m also grateful to the Academy for not nominating The Town for Best Picture. I did not want to sit through that very bland looking movie. I’m proud to say that I had already seen every Best Picture nominee before the announcement.)
Bolded are my predicted winners.
Oscar Nominations 2011
‘The Kids Are All Right’
‘The King’s Speech’
‘The Social Network’
‘Toy Story 3’
I believe The Social Network haves this one in the bag. It’s a critic and audience favorite and has won most of the awards from the circuits for Picture by now. The only big threat to is The King’s Speech which is leading the number of nominations for a film this year. It is clearly liked, but I doubt the crossover appeal for it is equal to the wide audience range that The Social Network has.
Darren Aronofsky, ‘Black Swan’
David O. Russell, ‘The Fighter’
Tom Hooper, ‘The King’s Speech’
David Fincher, ‘The Social Network’
Joel and Ethan Coen, ‘True Grit’
Even if The King’s Speech ultimately wins Best Picture, David Fincher is not losing this. He’s a industry favorite and he’s finally hit his stride with his excellent direction of The Social Network.
Annette Bening, ‘The Kids Are All Right’
Nicole Kidman, ‘Rabbit Hole’
Jennifer Lawrence, ‘Winter’s Bone’
Natalie Portman, ‘Black Swan’
Michelle Williams, ‘Blue Valentine’
Oh, Lord. What a beyond difficult choice to make. Well, we can already count out Jennifer Lawrence. She’s the discovery of the year (ala Carey Mulligan in last year’s An Education) and and her film is so indie that it’s a award for just being nominated. Michelle Williams is out too – she’s the lone nomination for her film and while she gives a high caliber performance that is far better than the two leading frontrunners of this category, its just too subtle for it to win. Nicole Kidman is not one of those frontrunners because she gives a equally astonishing performance that’s so effortless it left me in awe as I walked out of the theatre. I’d kill for her to upset and receive her second Oscar, but its not her year. No, this year belongs to Bening and Portman, two actresses who have been duking it out at awards shows for the past few months. To be perfectly honest, Portman edges out Bening for me to win. Why? Because her performance is just better, period. Not only that, but the film is a lot more interesting than the bland one Bening stars in. For talent alone, Portman will probably win this. But Bening does have overdue card (she lost twice to Swank in 1999 and 2004). It could be internally argued at the Academy that it is Bening’s time to receive her Oscar for all of her sublime performances that were not awarded over the years. For now though, I’m going with Portman. Her performance makes her movie while Bening’s does not.
Javier Bardem, ‘Biutiful’
Jeff Bridges, ‘True Grit’
Jesse Eisenberg, ‘The Social Network’
Colin Firth, ‘The King’s Speech’
James Franco, ‘127 Hours’
Oh what I would give to see Eisenberg get up on that stage! Alas, it’s not happening. This is Firth’s Oscar, partly because he should of won last year and partly because he gives a excellent, transformative performance.
Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, ‘The Fighter’
Helena Bonham Carter, ‘The King’s Speech’
Melissa Leo, ‘The Fighter’
Hailee Steinfeld, ‘True Grit’
Jacki Weaver, ‘Animal Kingdom’
This category is pretty unpredictable. A case to win could be made for any of these fine actresses. But I’m here to predict. Okay, so the reason why Jacki Weaver won’t get awarded is because A). Animal Kingdom is a underseen film and B). her nomination is the film’s only one. So, she’s out. Helena Bonham Carter could win if The King’s Speech swept, but I’m highly doubting it will. Plus, her character is not as showy as the others. Another one bites the dust. I feel that Hailee Steinfeld could pose a major threat with all the nominees her film, True Grit, got and the fact that she’s the film’s real protagonist (can somebody say category fraud?). However, she’s also very young and only on rare occurrences have actresses her age actually won the Oscar before. She has plenty of tries ahead of her. And then there were two. Here’s the major dilemma: Amy Adams is clearly a Academy favorite (she got nominated for itty bitty indie film no one for ten minutes of screen time AND she was nominated for her rather terrible performance in Doubt), while Melissa Leo is clearly the Awards circuit favorite. I could see either one win, honestly. I hope that Amy Adams does, but I can see her losing out because Melissa Leo clearly has the more showy role. It’s a conundrum. I’m predicting Melissa for now, but I’m going to reserve the right to change this one category in the future if I please.
Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, ‘The Fighter’
John Hawkes, ‘Winter’s Bone’
Jeremy Renner, ‘The Town’
Mark Ruffalo, ‘The Kids Are All Right’
Geoffrey Rush, ‘The King’s Speech’
Not even a question. Christian Bale will win this for sure. Not only has he won the awards circuit, he also truly deserves the Oscar for his brilliant performance.
Best Film Editing
‘Black Swan’, Andrew Weisblum
‘The Fighter’, Pamela Martin
‘The King’s Speech’, Tariq Anwar
‘127 Hours’, Jon Harris
‘The Social Network’, Angus Wall & Kirk Baxter
If Inception was nominated, it would have taken this category easily. Since it was bizarrely snubbed, The Social Network will most likely take its place since its a expertly edited film.
Best Animated Feature Film
‘How to Train Your Dragon’
‘Toy Story 3’
Ugh, the Pixar monopoly on this category continues. I still have hope that they will award Sylvain Chomet for my #1 of 2010, The Illusionist, but chances are slim.
Best Visual Effects
‘Alice in Wonderland’, Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas & Sean Phillips
‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1’, Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz & Nicolas Aithadi
‘Hereafter’, Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski & Joe Farrell
‘Inception’, Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley & Peter Bebb
‘Iron Man 2’, Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright & Daniel Sudick
I see Inception winning this, however, I can see a possible upset in Alice in Wonderland. Alice is reminiscent of Avatar last year in which a TON of motion capture was used while Inception is relatively light on it.
Best Original Song
‘Coming Home’ from ‘Country Strong’, Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
‘I See the Light’ from ‘Tangled’, Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
‘If I Rise’ from ‘127 Hours’, Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
‘We Belong Together’ from ‘Toy Story 3’, Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
Another somewhat unpredictable category. I rule out Country Strong because country music for the Academy was so yesteryear. I doubt Randy Newman will win because his song isn’t that great and the Academy is already awarding Toy Story 3 for animated. I See the Light is my personal favorite of the bunch and is created by Academy loved Alan Menken, but I think 127 Hours will win here since the song is about the only award the Best Picture nominated film can win. But I do hope I See the Light surprises.
Best Original Score
‘How to Train Your Dragon’, John Powell
‘Inception’, Hans Zimmer
‘The King’s Speech’, Alexandre Desplat
‘127 Hours’, A.R. Rahman
‘The Social Network’, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Can I just start out by telling you how excited I am that How to Train Your Dragon got nominated for Score?! It’s a brilliant work and I have been gunning for it all year to win until The Social Network’s score came and blew me away. I especially didn’t think the latter would be nominated, but it did and I’m fairly certain it will win. Of course, Inception could upset since the Academy has snubbed Zimmer before on previous work with Christopher Nolan, but as it stands I don’t see it happening because Inception’s score just isn’t as good as the two previously mentioned. Therefore, I’m going to say that The Social Network wins the Academy Award. It’s kind of risky, given the nature of the heavily electronica based score, but I think with the awards circuit momentum the score and the movie has had, it is inevitable that it will win.
‘Black Swan’, Matthew Libatique
‘Inception’, Wally Pfister
‘The King’s Speech’, Danny Cohen
‘The Social Network’, Jeff Cronenweth
‘True Grit’, Roger Deakins
The first two and the fourth are incredibly deserving of this award. Alas, True Grit will lose out on all categories except this one for the primary reason that Roger Deakins has been around the industry for 20+ years, has countless Academy Award nominations, and hasn’t won a single Oscar. It is his time and this category is just weak enough for him to take it. There is a potential upset in The Social Network and The King’s Speech if either sweeps heavily, but I doubt that they will.
Best Sound Mixing
‘Inception’, Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo & Ed Novick
‘The King’s Speech’, Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen & John Midgley
‘Salt’, Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan & William Sarokin
‘The Social Network’, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick & Mark Weingarten
‘True Grit’, Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff & Peter F. Kurland
The Social Network and True Grit could possibly upset Inception, but I personally don’t see it happening.
Best Sound Editing
‘Inception’, Richard King
‘Toy Story 3’, Tom Myers & Michael Silvers
‘Tron: Legacy’, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle & Addison Teague
‘True Grit’, Skip Lievsay & Craig Berkey
‘Unstoppable’, Mark P. Stoeckinger
Has Pixar ever won this award? They could upset if they haven’t because they have been nominated A LOT in this category. Again, True Grit could also upset, but I personally see Inception winning this.
Best Costume Design
‘Alice in Wonderland’, Colleen Atwood
‘I Am Love’, Antonella Cannarozzi
‘The King’s Speech’, Jenny Beavan
‘The Tempest’, Sandy Powell
‘True Grit’, Mary Zophres
In it’s mini sweep, The King’s Speech will pick up this award.
Best Art Direction
‘Alice in Wonderland’, Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara
‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I’, Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
‘Inception’, Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
‘The King’s Speech’, Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Judy Farr
‘True Grit’, Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
WHAT?! I’m going with Alice in Wonderland. Why? Well, because it fits in with the trend of beautiful and odd films winning this certain award, no matter how much of the setting is created with special effects. Like Avatar last year. In the last ten years the films that have won this award do not have sets as dull and boring as The King’s Speech, as minimalist and uninspired as Deathly Hallows Part I, or as sterile as Inception. The previous winners have lavish, beautiful sets that are vibrant with color and personality. Alice in Wonderland has everything a winner in this category requires. It will win. But since Inception has won a lot of awards specifically in this category throughout awards season, I’ll admit that it is a potential threat to this category. It’s just highly unlikely.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy, ‘127 Hours’
Aaron Sorkin, ‘The Social Network’
John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich, ‘Toy Story 3’
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, ‘True Grit’
Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini, ‘Winter’s Bone’
The sky is blue. The grass is green. The Social Network is winning Best Adapted Screenplay.
Best Original Screenplay
Mike Leigh, ‘Another Year’
Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson, ‘The Fighter’
Christopher Nolan, ‘Inception’
Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg, ‘The Kids Are All Right’
David Seidler, ‘The King’s Speech’
David Seidler, the writer of The King’s Speech, is 80 (?) years old and has been around Hollywood for a long time. He hasn’t ever been recognized by the Academy before. His screenplay for The King’s Speech is by far his most critically acclaimed work. I think all of these things are factors for his win. HOWEVER, any one of the nominees has a chance to upset him. Christopher Nolan could win because he lost with Memento. Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg could win because they have on their hands the quirky indie comedy of 2010. The Fighter could win because it has a damn good screenplay. Another Year could win because Mike Leigh is way over due and he’s at his 5th (?) nomination and hasn’t won a Oscar yet. Then again, The King’s Speech is the frontrunner with the most nominations. Out of the four that could upset it, The Kids Are All Right is the strongest contender.
‘Barney’s Version’, Adrien Morot
‘The Way Back’, Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk & Yolanda Toussieng
‘The Wolfman’, Rick Baker & Dave Elsey
What a strange set of nominees. I say The Wolfman wins this with a possible upset by The Way Back.
And there you have it folks! What do you think? Am I right? Am I dreadfully wrong? Do tell!!!