Friday, June 3, 2011

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Last year I made a prediction for every Oscar category. It was a lot of guesswork and sort of a waste of time trying to guess who would win Best Sound Mixing or Best Short Documentary when I know nothing about what qualifies a movie to win Best Sound Mixing and when I hadn’t seen any one of the short documentaries nominated. This doesn’t mean I won’t take a stab at either one of those this year, but we’ll see.
I don’t think it has ever been easier to predict best actor and actress in a leading role than this year. Watch, I get those completely wrong. Here are the predictions…
Writing (Original Screenplay): The King’s Speech – This is a great story and an amazing screenplay. Even the story of writing the screenplay is fascinating. Did you see the 60 Minutes piece last week? I still haven’t seen The Fighter or The Kids Are All Right, but both of those are also strong contenders.
Writing (Adapted Screenplay): The Social Network – I hate to say it, but this movie will probably win. After first seeing it, I thought it should win because it was a good movie and fairly accurate from what I hear and adapted from what was probably a boring book. However, after seeing parts of the original True Grit and listening to the Coen Brothers on Fresh Air, I realized two things. One, the original True Grit really sucks. It is awfully bad. Embarrassing to a point. Two, the Coens stuck to the original language of Charles Portis’ novel, but still made a relevant movie at times both serious and hilarious. They made a Western in 2010 that was popular. That is award worthy.
Visual Effects: Inception – Whatever you thought about this movie, it’s visuals were hands down the best of the year. Nothing even compares to it. Harry Potter? Iron Man 2? Are you kidding me? Inception’s cinematography paired with the visual effects is a combination that cannot be matched.
Music (Original Song): Toy Story 3 – “We Belong Together” by Randy Newman – I haven’t heard all the nominated songs, but I know this one is great and I know that no matter what, Gwyneth Paltrow will probably sing the nominated song from Country Strong, but please don’t give that song the Oscar.
Music (Original Score): The Social Network – I almost skipped this category, but I found the music from the SN to be compelling throughout the entire movie. It really contributed to the feel of the movie. High-strung, tension-filled, the music brought more anxiety to the legal proceedings and more mystery to the goings-on in Zuckerberg’s head as he is hammering away on the keyboard.
Foreign Language Film: Biutiful – Honestly, I haven’t seen any of these, but the buzz for Biutiful and Javier Bardem’s performance is enough to make a slightly educated guess here.
Film Editing: The King’s Speech – I can’t remember a scene from the movie that I would want arranged in a different way. Of course, as viewers, we don’t know what was left out or cut from the movie, but The King’s Speech was so complete and strong it seems like they made all the right cuts and selections.
Documentary Feature: Inside Job – There are a lot of strong nominees here. Exit through the Gift Shop and Restrepo could also win. I haven’t seen the former yet, and I haven’t seen Restrepo, but I have read the book Sebastian Junger wrote about his time in the Korengal Valley while making Restrepo. That book is called War and it is the best book I’ve read about the Afghanistan front.
Directing: Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan – I could easily be wrong here, but I think this is one of the categories Black Swan will actually win. Some years it seems like the Oscar for Directing is guaranteed to go to the director of the favorite in the feature film category, but maybe not this year.
Animated Feature Film: Toy Story 3 – How could this movie not win? It’s touching and fresh, even for the third revival.
Actress in a Supporting Role: Melissa Leo – The Fighter – She has won most of the awards already, might as well make it a sweep.
Actress in a Leading Role: Natalie Portman – Black Swan – This pick couldn’t be easier. I watched some of the Golden Globes when Portman won her acting award. Her speech was a little long, awkward (nothing new there) but it was that night I discovered Natalie Portman has an annoying laugh. Interesting…
Actor in a Supporting Role: Christian Bale – The Fighter – I think this is another easy prediction. Flawless is most often the description of Bale’s performance in this movie.
Actor in a Leading Role: Colin Firth – The King’s Speech – I think I’ll be offended if he doesn’t win. I won’t cry and I’ll probably keep watching, but when an actor makes a historically accurate film and puts in such a believable, touching performance (especially when the film is about the monarchy, i.e. Helen Mirren in The Queen) they deserve it.
Best Picture: The King’s Speech – I think this movie is in danger of being beaten by The Social Network, but I sure hope that doesn’t happen. Then, I will turn the TV off. Just for the hell of it, I am going to rank the six movies I have seen out of this category. Obviously, The King’s Speech takes the top spot, but second would be True Grit, then The Social Network, Inception, and Toy Story 3. Now, had I seen all of these movies, The Fighter and Winter’s Bone would undoubtedly rank ahead of The Social Network, but I haven’t, so I can only stick with those five.

Check out the Oscar Nominations 2011 full list:
Best Picture
“Black Swan”
“The Fighter”
“The Kids Are All Right ”
“The King’s Speech”
“127 Hours”
“The Social Network”
“Toy Story 3?
“True Grit”
“Winter’s Bone”
Best Direction
Darren Aronofsky for “Black Swan”
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for “True Grit”
David Fincher for “The Social Network”
Tom Hooper for “The King’s Speech”
David O. Russell for “The Fighter”
Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
James Franco in “127 Hours”
Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech”
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”
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”
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”
Adapted Screenplay
Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy for “127 Hours”
Aaron Sorkin for “The Social Network”
Michael Arndt, story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich for “Toy Story 3?
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for “True Grit”
Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini for “Winter’s Bone”
Original Screenplay
Mike Leigh for “Another Year”
Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson. Story by Keith Dorrington and Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson for “The Fighter”
Christopher Nolan for “Inception”
Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg for “The Kids Are All Right”
David Seidler for “The King’s Speech”
Animated Feature
“How to Train Your Dragon”
“The Illusionist”
“Toy Story 3?
Art Direction
“Alice in Wonderland”: Robert Stromberg (Production Design), Karen O’Hara (Set Decoration)
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1?: Stuart Craig (Production Design), Stephenie McMillan (Set Decoration)
“Inception”: Guy Hendrix Dyas (Production Design), Larry Dias and Doug Mowat (Set Decoration)
“The King’s Speech”: Eve Stewart (Production Design), Judy Farr (Set Decoration)
“True Grit”: Jess Gonchor (Production Design), Nancy Haigh (Set Decoration)
“Black Swan”: Matthew Libatique
“Inception”: Wally Pfister
“The King’s Speech”: Danny Cohen
“The Social Network”: Jeff Cronenweth
“True Grit”: Roger Deakins
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
Documentary (Feature)
“Exit through the Gift Shop”
“Inside Job”
“Waste Land”
Documentary (Short Subject)
“Killing in the Name”
“Poster Girl”
“Strangers No More”
“Sun Come Up”
“The Warriors of Qiugang”
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 and Kirk Baxter
Foreign Language Film
“Biutiful”: Mexico
“Dogtooth”: Greece
“In a Better World”: Denmark
“Incendies”: Canada
“Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)”: Algeria
“Barney’s Version”: Adrien Morot
“The Way Back”: Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
“The Wolfman”: Rick Baker and Dave Elsey
Music (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
Music (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
Short Film (Animated)
“Day & Night”: Teddy Newton
“The Gruffalo”: Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
“Let’s Pollute”: Geefwee Boedoe
“The Lost Thing”: Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
“Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)”: Bastien Dubois
Short Film (Live Action)
“The Confession”: Tanel Toom
“The Crush”: Michael Creagh
“God of Love”: Luke Matheny
“Na Wewe”: Ivan Goldschmidt
“Wish 143?: Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite
Sound Editing
“Inception”: Richard King
“Toy Story 3?: Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
“Tron: Legacy”: Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
“True Grit”: Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
“Unstoppable”: Mark P. Stoeckinger
Sound Mixing
“Inception”: Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
“The King’s Speech”: Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
“Salt”: Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
“The Social Network”: Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
“True Grit”: Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
Visual Effects
“Alice in Wonderland”: Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1?: Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
“Hereafter”: Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
“Inception”: Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
“Iron Man 2?: Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

The Academy Awards 2011 Showreel for Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Score and Director.

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