Saturday, February 26, 2011

Oscar Night 2011: Welcome to the Big Dance

Hello, Oscar night. It seems like an eternity since last year’s ceremony, but here we are again. Changes? We still have 10 nominees for Best Picture, unfortunately. Can’t win ‘em all.

I have to admit that I have a good feeling about James Franco & Anne Hathaway as hosts. I think they’ll be charmingly, disarmingly cute, but here’s hoping they take a risk or two.

Here are my predictions in each category, with the “Big 6” getting some extra time. If you win big in your Oscar pool, message me, and I'll tell you where to send my share of the winnings.

Best Picture

· “Black Swan”

· “The Fighter”

· “Inception”

· “The Kids Are All Right”

· “The King's Speech”

· “127 Hours”

· “The Social Network”

· “Toy Story 3”

· “True Grit”

· “Winter's Bone"

Predicted winner: The King’s Speech
If I was voting: True Grit
Possible upsets: The Social Network

Analysis: The change in momentum that’s occurred over the last month has been almost dizzying. The Social Network had a full head of steam behind it and was the clear picture to beat. Then . . . The King’s Speech . . . happened. After winning almost all of the major “Best Film” awards (with the exception of the Golden Globe – Drama), it’s practically vaulted over the competition to the top. Look for it to pick up the big one on Oscar night, with a very strong possibility that The Social Network could swoop in, flip back the clock and take what lots of folks thought it was going to get anyway.


· “Black Swan” Darren Aronofsky

· “The Fighter” David O. Russell

· “The King's Speech” Tom Hooper

· “The Social Network” David Fincher

· “True Grit” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Predicted winner: David Fincher
If I was voting: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Possible upsets: Tom Hooper

Analysis: I know that Tom Hooper’s won the Director’s Guild Award. I know that that’s an almost frighteningly accurate indicator of who’s going to walk off with Oscar. I still think that the Academy’s going to see this as David Fincher’s “time” and reward his second nomination with the win. Besides, Hooper’s young, British, and probably not going anywhere. He’ll have other chances. I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that Christopher Nolan should be one of the nominees. While I’m not a big fan of his film, he did a very gutsy thing in making a $160 million art movie. I’d give him Russell’s spot.

Actor in a Leading Role

· Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”

· Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”

· Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”

· Colin Firth in “The King's Speech”

· James Franco in “127 Hours”

Predicted winner: Colin Firth
If I was voting: Jeff Bridges
Possible upsets: None.

Analysis: Colin Firth will win. Period. I think the Academy ought to pull a Tom Hanks and give it to Jeff Bridges for his outstanding work in True Grit, but it ain’t gonna happen.

Actress in a Leading Role

· Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”

· Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”

· Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter's Bone”

· Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”

· Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”

Predicted winner: Natalie Portman
If I was voting: Natalie Portman
Possible upsets: Annette Bening

Analysis: Lesley Manville should be nominated in this category, and she should win. Her performance in Another Year was that good. Silly Academy. (sighs back into reality) Black Swan was the first occasion that Natalie Portman’s ever blown me away, and I think she’s a strong favorite. While I’d be very surprised if she didn’t win, Annette Bening might challenge her here. She’s lost a couple of times previously, and some might say that this is her last, best chance to win. I still don’t think it’s going to happen. Besides, if you’re going to nominate someone from The Kids Are All Right, it should have been Julianne Moore.

Actor in a Supporting Role

· Christian Bale in “The Fighter”

· John Hawkes in “Winter's Bone”

· Jeremy Renner in “The Town”

· Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”

· Geoffrey Rush in “The King's Speech”

Predicted winner: Christian Bale
If I was voting: Christian Bale
Possible upsets: Geoffrey Rush

Analysis: The Fighter is a film that’s really lucked out this year. It’s decently entertaining, but never takes flight in the way that it could. Christian Bale’s outstanding performance is the finest thing about the film, and I think it’s going to be rewarded. However, if Geoffrey Rush pulls off an upset in one of the first prizes of the telecast, get ready for a British avalanche of The King’s Speech winning everything under the sun.

Actress in a Supporting Role

· Amy Adams in “The Fighter”

· Helena Bonham Carter in “The King's Speech”

· Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”

· Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”

· Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”

Predicted winner: Melissa Leo
If I was voting: Helena Bonham Carter
Possible upsets: Hailee Steinfeld, Helena Bonham Cater

Analysis: This is the trickiest of the 6 majors to call. Hailee Steinfeld is the fresh, young face that impressed a lot of people with her plucky (LEAD) performance in True Grit. Helena Bonham Carter has the good fortune to be attached to The King’s Speech(and had a nice turn to boot). However, I think Melissa Leo’s got the momentum, and might squeak out the victory. This is a very tough category. Could go to any of the aforementioned 3.

  • Animated Feature Film: Toy Story 3
  • Art Direction: The King’s Speech
  • Cinematography: Roger Deakins – True Grit
  • Costume Design: Alice In Wonderland
  • Documentary (Feature): Exit Through The Gift Shop
  • Documentary (Short Subject): Strangers No More
  • Film Editing: The Social Network
  • Foreign Language Film: In A Better World
  • Makeup: The Wolfman
  • Music (Original Score): Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – The Social Network
  • Music (Original Song): “We Belong Together” – Randy Newman (Toy Story 3)
  • Short Film (Animated): Day & Night
  • Short Film (Live Action): Wish 143
  • Sound Editing: Inception
  • Sound Mixing: Inception
  • Visual Effects: Inception
  • Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Aaron Sorkin The Social Network
  • Writing (Original Screenplay): David Seidler – The King’s Speech

Happy Superbowl Sunday to all!


Programming said...

Hey Adam! First Reviews of Midnight in Paris are out!

Adam said...

And it's good too? Excellent. After the languid semi-boredom of You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, I sure hope so.