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Oscar Predictions 2011 – Part #2: Acting Awards and Best Films

Posted on 24 February 2011 by Andrew

This year it is heating up to be a battle for Best Picture, with The King’s Speech gaining a lot of recent momentum over the critical darling The Social Network.  I haven’t been able to catch any of the short films, as most of them are played at film festivals, so I won’t even try to pick a prediction there.  I know itunes is letting you rent some on the best animated and live action short nominees for the Oscars so I recommend you check those out.  They usually are really great.  That being said here are my predictions for the acting and film awards.

Best Documentary

Exit Through the Gift shop

Gasland

Inside Job

Restrepo

Waste Land

Most of the best documentary winners are decided by the precursor ACE editing awards, which Gift Shop won.  Gift shop also has the biggest buzz going into the Oscars because of its director, the notorious street artist Bansky.  Just the thought of Bansky possibly accepting the award has given the Academy Awards a stir.  I could also see Inside Job winning this because of its political relevance in the past year.

Best Foreign Film

Mexico – Biutiful

Greece – Dogtooth

Denmark – In a Better World

Canada – Incendies

Algeria – Outside the Law

A lot of people would predict that Biutiful would win, but this category is always up for grabs.  Remember when Pan’s Labyrinth was considered a lock for this – then didn’t win?  In a Better World did win a Golden Globe and I’m predicting it will win the Oscar as well.  But look for a surprise in this category.

Best Animated Feature

How to Train Your Dragon

Illusionsit

Toy Story 3

I loved How to Train Your Dragon but Toy Story 3 was incredible.  It also has a best picture nomination so that definitely gives it the edge here.

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

I’m going with an upset pick here, over the frontrunner Melissa Leo.  Haile Steinfeld was the main actress in True Grit, yet somehow she got nominated in this category.  Was it to increase her chances of winning?  A most definite yes and I think the move will pay off.

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

Bale was incredible in the Fighter and it seems like this award is all but a lock for him.  Only person to upset him could be Geoffrey Rush.

Best Actress

Annette Bening – The Kids Are All Right

Nicole Kidman – Rabbit Hole

Jennifer Lawrence – Winter’s Bone

Natalie Portman – Black Swan

Michelle Williams – Blue Valentine

A lot of indie movie actresses nominated here, but Natalie Portman’s role in Black Swan has garnered the most buzz.  She had to learn ballet in countless hours of training and played a duel personality in the psychological thriller Black Swan.

Best Actor

Javier Bardem – Biutiful

Jeff Bridges  – True Grit

Jesse Eisenberg – The Social Network

Colin Firth – The King’s Speech

James Franco – 127 Hours

A great lineup this year, especially over last year’s nominations which snubbed a lot of great performances.  This is Colin Firth’s to lose, and I feel there is no way he is going to lose.  It’s interesting to see Jeff Bridges nominated for John Wayne’s Oscar winning role many years back.  Have two different actors each won an Oscar for the same role?  Would be a great trivia question.

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

This is really going going to come down to who is voting for the best picture award.  The Social Network had won almost every critic’s choice awards leading up to the Guild awards, and the King’s Speech swept the Guild Awards (excluding the WGA’s which they couldn’t be nominated for).  That recent surge in award’s wins has led me to believe that the King’s Speech is now the frontrunner to win.  However, The Social Network still has a very good chance considering how many critic’s named it their favorite film of the year.  Only time will tell who wins – but for now I’m going with the King’s Speech.

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Oscar Predictions Part 2 – Acting and Picture Awards

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Andrew

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Yesterday I went through all the writing and technical awards, giving the complete list and my prediction for the winner.  Today will be the rest of the awards, notably the big acting awards and best picture.  Once again, some of these I will have to guess on because I haven’t seen all of the nominated films.  The group with the dot before it is the one I predict to win.  As always leave your comments below.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province – Job Alpert and Matthew O’Neill

The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner – Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher

  • The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant – Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert

Music by Prudence – Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett

Rabbit a la Berlin – Bartek konopka and Anna Wydra

I haven’t seen any of these but I feel the GM documentary is the most relevant, and I’m sort of biased because I live in Michigan.

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Burman VJ – Anders Ostergaard and Lise Lense-Moller

  • The Cove – Louie Psihoyos and Fisher Stevens

Food, Inc. – Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein

The Most Dangerous Man in America:Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers – Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith

Which Way Home – Rebecca Cammisa

I have heard nothing but excellent things about The Cove and it has been tearing up the festival circuit.  It already has a slew of awards and I expect that it will top its run off with the Academy Award.

BEST ANIMATED SHORT

  • French Roast – Fabrice O. Joubert

Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty – Nicky Phelan and Darragh O’Connell

The Lady and the Reaper – Javier Recio Gracia

Logorama – Nicolas Schmerkin

A Matter of Loaf and Death – Nick Park

Nick Park has a great shot at this, especially with his past “Wallace and Gromit” films, but I’m giving the edge to French Roast because of the way it is shot and it’s originality.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Ajami (Israel) – Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani

The Milk of Sorrow (Peru) – Claudia Llosa

  • A Prophet  (France) – Jacques Audiard

The Secret in Their Eyes (Argentina) – Juan Jose Campanella

The White Ribbon (Germany) – Michael Haneke

A real race here between Ribbon and Prophet.  Originally about a month ago it seemed like White Ribbon had this one in the bag.  But A Prophet has built up some recent momentum, especially with it’s BAFTA win for best foreign film (which it tied with White Ribbon). Over the past few years the Academy has not given this award to the favorite so I am picking The White Ribbon to be upset here.

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

The Door – Juanita Wilson and James Flynn

Instead of Abracadabra – Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellstrom

  • Kavi – Greg Helvey

Miracle Fish – Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey

The New Tenants – Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson

I’ve only seen Abracadabra so this is a guess here but I am going to pick Kavi – no real reason, sorry.

BEST ANIMATED FILM

Coraline – Henry Selick

Fantastic Mr. Fox – Wes Anderson

The Princess and the Frog – John Musker and ron Clements

The Secret of Kells – Tomm Moore

  • Up – Pete Doctor

What a HUGE upset that would be for Up not to win.  It is nominated for Best Picture as well, so doesn’t that make it an automatic winner. I almost think so.  Plus, it was the best animated film this year and has won almost every animation award that exists.  If Pixar hadn’t made a film this year I would be pulling for Coraline, which was way better than I expected.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Penelope Cruz – Nine

Vera Farmiga – Up in the Air

Maggie Gyllenhaal – Crazy Heart

Anna Kendrick – Up in the Air

  • Mo’Nique – Precious

Mo’Nique has won a lot of praise for her portrayal in Precious.  The Academy loves to award people who take on roles that are polar opposites of their personality.  Mo’Nique’s scary transformation and character should award her with the Oscar.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Matt Damon – Invictus

Woody Harrelson – The Messenger

Christopher Plummer – The Last Station

Stanley Tucci – The Lovely Bones

  • Christoph Waltz – Inglourious Basterds

Waltz has created one of those iconic characters in film that will transcend generations to come.  He was the best thing about that movie and I’m glad  the Academy has acknowledged his acting in this film.  This is one of those roles that will help jump start a long and prosperous career for Waltz.

BEST ACTRESS

  • Sandra Bullock – The Blind Side

Helen Mirren – The Last Station

Carey Mulligan – An Education

Gabourey Sidibe – Precious

Meryl Streep – Julie & Julia

I haven’t seen any of these movies but based off people’s reactions and perceptions this was Bullock’s comeback year.  Streep is the other strong contender because well, she’s Meryl Streep, but like Waltz, Bullock has created an iconic character that helped sell her film and make it popular.

BEST ACTOR

  • Jeff Bridges – Crazy Heart

George Clooney – Up in the Air

Colin Firth – A Single Man

Morgan Freeman – Invictus

Jeremy Renner – The Hurt Locker

I can’t believe some of the people that are NOT nominated for this award.  Viggo Mortensen gave his best performance to date in The Road and Sharlto Copley kept us emotionally engaged in the great District 9.  Even Sam Rockwell in Moon gave an award’s worthy performance as the only actor in that entire film.  Instead I felt the Academy played it safe with people like Clooney and Freeman.  Their performances were great, but I think in 5 years no one will even be talking about those characters.  Jeff Bridges is an excellent actor and recently he has been racking up the awards left and right for his performance, and I think he will come away with this one.

BEST PICTURE

  • Avatar – James Cameron and Jon Landau

The Blind Side – Gil Netter, Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson

District 9 – Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham

An Education – Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey

The Hurt Locker – Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro

Inglourious Basterds – Lawrence Bender

Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire – Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness

A Serious Man – Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Up – Jonas Rivera

Up in the Air – Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman

It truly is a David vs. Goliath in the Best Picture category.  It really is down to two films now – The Hurt Locker and Avatar.  If the Hurt Locker wins it will become the lowest grossing movie ever ($15 million) to win Best Picture.  If Avatar wins it will become the highest grossing movie ($2.5 billion and counting) ever to win best picture.  These two movies couldn’t be any more different.  The Hurt Locker recently has won a lot of critic’s awards for best picture, including the BAFTA.  But I think Avatar is going to pull an upset. I only call it an upset because, other than the Golden Globes, it hasn’t won best picture at a major event.  The reason I think it will win is because of its gross and mass appeal.  Part of the reason the Academy had opened up the nominations to ten films this year was to get blockbuster type films (Disctrict 9, Blindside) into the awards, where usually they would be left out.  This decision comes a year after many people felt the Dark Knight was left out of the Best Picture category.  Avatar is that ‘big’ type of epic film that has been missing for a few years, and having such a small film like the Hurt Locker win seems contradictory to what the Academy is trying to say with these 10 nominations.  I feel that Avatar or the Hurt Locker have reasons to deserve Best Picture, and I would not be disappointed in the outcome either way.  However, I have a little bias for Avatar because science fiction and fantasy films usually get the shaft by the Academy.  Avatar had everything going against it before it was released, and what it has done so far is so extraordinary that it almost seems destined to have one final blow in winning the Academy Award for Best Picture.

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