Sunday, February 27, 2011

Oscar Predictions

Normally my goal is simply to get more predictions correct than not, but I have a bad feeling about this year for some reason. A few hours will tell though. I'll list my pick followed by a possible spoiler.

Performance by an actor in a leading role

Javier Bardem in “Biutiful” (Roadside Attractions)
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit” (Paramount)
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Colin Firth in “The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company)
James Franco in “127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight)

My Pick: Colin Firth. He was supposed to win last year, but didn't for that horrid "A Single Man". Whether or not the award is deserved for this performance is besides the point, the voters will give it to him.

Spoiler: James Franco

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

Christian Bale in “The Fighter” (Paramount)
John Hawkes in “Winter's Bone” (Roadside Attractions)
Jeremy Renner in “The Town” (Warner Bros.)
Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features)
Geoffrey Rush in “The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company)

My Pick: Christian Bale. Finally, his years of gaining and losing weight for roles will pay off. He was fine in "The Fighter", though personally I'd like to see John Hawkes win.

Spoiler: Geoffrey Rush

Performance by an actress in a leading role

Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features)
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole” (Lionsgate)
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter's Bone” (Roadside Attractions)
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight)
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine” (The Weinstein Company)

My Pick: Natalie Portman. I've always liked Natalie Portman. Not just for the fact I have a friend who claims she's his cousin to see how gullible people are. I do feel sorry for Annette Bening, who keeps running up against juggernauts whenever she's nominated. I just don't think her performance has the traction necessary to get the win.

Spoiler: Annette Bening

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

Amy Adams in “The Fighter” (Paramount)
Helena Bonham Carter in “The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company)
Melissa Leo in “The Fighter” (Paramount)
Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit” (Paramount)
Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom” (Sony Pictures Classics)

My Pick: Melissa Leo. Here's a category that can go one of two ways. Melissa Leo seemed to have the win locked up, then released a campaign that people really took offense to. Now, there's a strong possibility that Hallie Steinfeld will win. I still think Melissa Leo will take it though. she's been nominated before, and I just can't see enough people not voting for her simply because of a fool move.

Spoiler: Hallie Steinfeld

Best animated feature film of the year

“How to Train Your Dragon” (Paramount) Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
“The Illusionist” (Sony Pictures Classics) Sylvain Chomet
“Toy Story 3” (Walt Disney) Lee Unkrich

My Pick: Toy Story 3. It's also up for Best Picture. If it doesn't win, expect Mickey to go on a murderous rampage.

Spoiler: How to Train Your Dragon. It's a well done film, but will only win if certain signs of the apocalypse line up.

Achievement in art direction

“Alice in Wonderland” (Walt Disney)
Robert Stromberg
Karen O'Hara

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part
1” (Warner Bros.)
Stuart Craig
Stephenie McMillan

“Inception” (Warner Bros.)
Guy Hendrix Dyas
Larry Dias and Doug Mowat

“The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company)
Eve Stewart
Judy Farr

“True Grit” (Paramount)
Jess Gonchor
Nancy Haigh

My Pick: The King's Speech. There's something about royalty that attracts Oscar voters. True Grit was outside too much; who remembers the sets for Inception and HP&TDH1 was mostly set in a tent.

Spoiler: Alice in Wonderland. Tim Burton's visuals can never be counted out.

Achievement in cinematography

“Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight) Matthew Libatique
“Inception” (Warner Bros.) Wally Pfister
“The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company) Danny Cohen
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Jeff Cronenweth
“True Grit” (Paramount) Roger Deakins

My Pick: True Grit. Roger Deakins is the Susan Lucci of this category. This might be his year to finally take it. Something about Westerns....

Spoiler: Inception. It won the guild's award, but that guild might not be big enough of a bloc in the Academy to make a difference.

Achievement in costume design

“Alice in Wonderland” (Walt Disney) Colleen Atwood
“I Am Love” (Magnolia Pictures) Antonella Cannarozzi
“The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company) Jenny Beavan
“The Tempest” (Miramax) Sandy Powell
“True Grit” (Paramount) Mary Zophres

My Pick: The King's Speech. Royalty wins often in this category. Royalty or over the top. Which means the only other winner might be...

Spoiler: Alice in Wonderland

Achievement in directing

“Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight) Darren Aronofsky
“The Fighter” (Paramount) David O. Russell
“The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company) Tom Hooper
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing) David Fincher
“True Grit” (Paramount) Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

My Pick: David Fincher. I don't think many people can even name who directed The King's Speech. The Social Network was a great film, thanks in large part to David Fincher. He's been around for a while and always seems to make decent films, this might be the way to congratulate him since The Social Network won't win Best Picture.

Spoiler: Tom Hooper

Best documentary feature

“Exit through the Gift Shop” (Producers
Distribution Agency)
A Paranoid Pictures Production
Banksy and Jaimie D'Cruz

A Gasland Production
Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic

“Inside Job” (Sony Pictures Classics)
A Representational Pictures Production
Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs

“Restrepo” (National Geographic Entertainment)
An Outpost Films Production
Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger

“Waste Land” (Arthouse Films)
An Almega Projects Production
Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

My Pick: Inside Job. This is a three horse race. Waste Land and Gasland are out. Restrepo is a good film, but it doesn't seem to have the support. Exit Through the Gift Shop I didn't think was all that great, and most of it's support seems to be of the 'let's see what Bansky does if he wins' type. I'm not sure if that's enough for people to actually vote for him. So I believe it will go to Inside Job, about the banking implosion.

Spoiler: Exit Through the Gift Shop.

Best documentary short subject

“Killing in the Name”
A Moxie Firecracker Films Production
Nominees to be determined

“Poster Girl”
A Portrayal Films Production
Nominees to be determined

“Strangers No More”
A Simon & Goodman Picture Company Production
Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon

“Sun Come Up”
A Sun Come Up Production
Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger

“The Warriors of Qiugang”
A Thomas Lennon Films Production
Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon

My Pick: Strangers No More. This is another three film race. The topicality of suicide bombers of Killing in the Name? The topicality of the Iraq war of Poster Girl? both possibly, but Strangers No More is about children of all different backgrounds (mostly refugees) attending a school in Tel Aviv and watching them succeed. I think kids will triumph over the slightly more depressing material of the other two.

Spoiler: Poster Girl

Achievement in film editing

“Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight) Andrew Weisblum
“The Fighter” (Paramount) Pamela Martin
“The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company) Tariq Anwar
“127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight) Jon Harris
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

My Pick: The Social Network. The King's Speech can't win everything. The editing in The Social Network was fantastic, as it kept from from getting too lost in the time jumping narrative.

Spoiler: The King's Speech

Best foreign language film of the year

“Biutiful” (Roadside Attractions)
A Menage Atroz, Mod Producciones and Ikiru Films

“Dogtooth” (Kino International)
A Boo Production

“In a Better World” (Sony Pictures Classics)
A Zentropa Production

“Incendies” (Sony Pictures Classics)
A Micro-Scope Production

“Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)” (Cohen Media Group)
A Tassili Films Production

My Pick: In A Better World. Susanne Bier has been nominated almost every time she directs a film and has also won previously. Biutiful was far too boring to win. Incendies and Outside the Law I've never even heard of. I think Dogtooth might just be a little too strange to win.

Spoiler: Dogtooth.

Achievement in makeup

“Barney's Version” (Sony Pictures Classics) Adrien Morot

“The Way Back” (Newmarket Films in association with
Wrekin Hill Entertainment and Image Entertainment)
Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda

“The Wolfman” (Universal) Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

My Pick: The Wolfman. In this category, the winner is usually the one with the most makeup. Wolfman wins. Wolfman's got nards.

Spoiler: The Way Back

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

“How to Train Your Dragon” (Paramount) John Powell
“Inception” (Warner Bros.) Hans Zimmer
“The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company) Alexandre Desplat
“127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight) A.R. Rahman
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

My Pick: The King's Speech. Alexandre Desplat has been doing wonderful work for a while now without an Oscar to show for it. A pleasant traditional score will probably win out over Trent Reznor's more avant-garde score.

Spoiler: The Social Network

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

“Coming Home” from “Country Strong”
(Sony Pictures Releasing (Screen Gems))
Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and
Hillary Lindsey

“I See the Light” from “Tangled”
(Walt Disney)
Music by Alan Menken
Lyric by Glenn Slater

“If I Rise” from “127 Hours”
(Fox Searchlight)
Music by A.R. Rahman
Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong

“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3”
(Walt Disney)
Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

My Pick: I See the Light from Tangled. Who knows? This category has gone from nominating reasonably popular songs to songs no one remembers. It's a total crapshoot, especially with three former winners in the category. I'm going with Alan Menken since he was always beloved and this sort of marks his comeback.

Spoiler: We Belong Together.

Best motion picture of the year

“Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight)
A Protozoa and Phoenix Pictures Production
Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin,

“The Fighter” (Paramount)
A Relativity Media Production
David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark
Wahlberg, Producers

“Inception” (Warner Bros.)
A Warner Bros. UK Services Production
Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers

“The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features)
An Antidote Films, Mandalay Vision and Gilbert
Films Production
Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray,

“The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company)
A See-Saw Films and Bedlam Production
Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin,

“127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight)
An Hours Production
Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson,

“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
A Columbia Pictures Production
Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and
Ceán Chaffin, Producers

“Toy Story 3” (Walt Disney)
A Pixar Production
Darla K. Anderson, Producer

“True Grit” (Paramount)
A Paramount Pictures Production
Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers

“Winter's Bone” (Roadside Attractions)
A Winter's Bone Production
Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers

My Pick: The King's Speech. The Social Network won all the critic's awards, but The King's Speech won all of the guild awards; and they are the one that vote on the Oscars.

Spoiler: The Social Network

Best animated short film

“Day & Night” (Walt Disney)
A Pixar Animation Studios Production
Teddy Newton

“The Gruffalo”
A Magic Light Pictures Production
Jakob Schuh and Max Lang

“Let's Pollute”
A Geefwee Boedoe Production
Geefwee Boedoe

“The Lost Thing” (Nick Batzias for Madman Entertainment)
A Passion Pictures Australia Production
Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann

“Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey
A Sacrebleu Production

My Pick: The Gruffalo. It's the longest and has movie stars in it. Sometimes that's all it takes to win this category. Wasn't my favorite, but oh well.

Spoiler: The Lost Thing. (A lot of people are suggesting Madagascar since the animation is beautiful in it. True, but there was no story and it was a boring 11 minutes).

Best live action short film

“The Confession” (National Film and Television School)
A National Film and Television School Production
Tanel Toom

“The Crush” (Network Ireland Television)
A Purdy Pictures Production
Michael Creagh

“God of Love”
A Luke Matheny Production
Luke Matheny

“Na Wewe” (Premium Films)
A CUT! Production
Ivan Goldschmidt

“Wish 143”
A Swing and Shift Films/Union Pictures Production
Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

My Pick: Wish 143. The Confession and The Crush both went way over the top. God of Love was cute but slight. Some people are saying Na Wewe, but usually the one that stands out the most from the others tends to be the winner and that was Wish 143 this time around.

Spoiler: Na Wewe

Achievement in sound editing

“Inception” (Warner Bros.) Richard King
“Toy Story 3” (Walt Disney) Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
“Tron: Legacy” (Walt Disney) Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
“True Grit” (Paramount) Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
“Unstoppable” (20th Century Fox) Mark P. Stoeckinger

My Pick: Inception. Finally, it can win something. The sound awards tend to go to the big action films. Inception was the biggest.

Spoiler: Unstoppable.

Achievement in sound mixing

“Inception” (Warner Bros.) Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick

“The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company) Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley

“Salt” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and
William Sarokin

“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark

“True Grit” (Paramount) Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and
Peter F. Kurland

My Choice: Incpetion. If people voted for it in the other category, they;ll do sao here.

Spoiler: The King's Speech. Speech is about sound, after all.

Achievement in visual effects

“Alice in Wonderland” (Walt Disney) Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” (Warner
Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and
Nicolas Aithadi

“Hereafter” (Warner Bros.) Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and
Joe Farrell

“Inception” (Warner Bros.) Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and
Peter Bebb

“Iron Man 2” (Paramount and Marvel Entertainment,
Distributed by Paramount)
Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

My Pick: Inception. Cities don't fold in on themselves alone. Happy Potter will probably win next year as a reward for making it through all 8 films.

Spoiler: Alice in Wonderland

Adapted screenplay

“127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight) Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
“Toy Story 3” (Walt Disney) Screenplay by Michael Arndt Story
by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee
“True Grit” (Paramount) Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
“Winter's Bone” (Roadside Attractions) Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne

My Pick: The Social Network. About as strong a lock as possible. Great screenplay.

Spoiler: Winter's Bone

Original screenplay

“Another Year” (Sony Pictures Classics) Written by Mike Leigh
“The Fighter” (Paramount) Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric
Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric
“Inception” (Warner Bros.) Written by Christopher Nolan
“The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features) Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
“The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company) Screenplay by David Seidler

My Pick: The King's Speech. It can't be easy writing all those stuttering syllables into a screenplay.

Spoiler: The Kids Are All Right

And there we are. I'll update tomorrow with how I did based on my original predictions and on both my predictions and spoilers combined.

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