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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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Oscar Predictions Part 1 – Technical Awards and Writing.

Posted on 01 March 2010 by Andrew

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This upcoming Sunday is the big dance for the movie industry.  Awards have been given out to films for the past few months now, all leading up to this year’s Academy Awards.  Listed below I will have all the nominations for each category and my prediction for the winner.  Granted, many of the movies nominated this year I haven’t seen, so on some of the categories I will be making a guess (short film, costume ect.).  I don’t call myself an expert on this, however I am a lover of film and have done a lot of research and tracking on most of these films. This will be part 1 of 2 of predictions.  Today’s entry will be all the technical awards and writing categories. I placed a dot in front of the one I am predicting to win. Feel free to leave comments below.

BEST SOUND EDITING

  • Avatar – Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle

The Hurt Locker – Paul N.J. Ottoson

Inglourious Basterds – Wylie Stateman

Star Trek – Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin

Up – Michael Silvers and Tom Myers

Avatar definitely had the loudest and most immersive sound design, which is why I am picking it over other notables like Star Trek’s great space/sound design – which I feel may be more deserving but will ultimately fall short of Avatar.

BEST SOUND MIXING

Avatar – Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson

  • The Hurt Locker – Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett

Inglourious Basterds – Michael Minkler, tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano

Star Trek – Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson

Hurt Locker’s sound mixing is what blended the music and sound design into one natural track that gave you an eerie sense and kept you in suspense.  Usually loud ones like Transformers or Star Trek would win this but I think Hurt Locker’s sound mixing was most the notable this year.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

District 9 – Neil Blomkamp and Terri Tachell

An Education – Nick Hornby

In the Loop – Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci and Tony Roche

Precious – Geoffrey Fletcher

  • Up in the Air – Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

Up in the Air is the type of script perfect for this year.  It deals with unemployment during a recession, and the Academy is going to feel the most touched by it (though I doubt any of them have to deal with unemployment).  I would love to see Disctrict 9 win though!

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • The Hurt Locker – Mark Boal

Inglourious Basterds – Quentin Tarantino

The Messenger – Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman

A Serious Man – Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Up – Bob Peterson, Pete Doctor and Tom McCarthy

A really great year for original scripts.  It could be a close vote between Boal and Tarantino, but I am giving the edge to Boal because he made an Iraq war movie watchable and his film is getting more recognition in other awards.  Boal took what was basically considered a failed genre, and jumped up the suspense and showed people a military division that most people aren’t familiar with, and what some call the most dangerous profession in the world.  Major snub for (500) Days of Summer though, a great new take on a familiar genre.  I thought even the Hangover could have made this list as well.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

  • Avatar – Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones

District 9 – Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken

Star Trek – Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton

Why do Visual Effects and Makeup only get three nominees instead of five?  Many movies like Half Blood Prince or Transformers didn’t make it because of the small amount of nominees, even though I thought they had excellent visual effects.  No matter what though Avatar was going to win.  They created a new line a fusion cameras, built an entire new way to shoot 3D and animation, and to top it off had really convincing CGI effects.  Overall, Avatar has changed the landscape for visual effects to come.

BEST MAKEUP

II Divo – Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano

Star Trek – Barney Burman, Mindy Hall, and Joel Harlow

  • The Young Victoria – Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore

I’ve only seen Star Trek, but I’m going to go with a wild guess here for Victoria because it is a period piece.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Avatar – James Horner

Fantastic Mr. Fox – Alexandre Desplat

The Hurt Locker – Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders

Sherlock Holmes – Hans Zimmer

  • Up – Michael Giacchino

Up will win this award because it has the most memorable music this year, and the themes beautifully complimented the images that Pixar created, notably during the opening montage sequence.  Avatar and Sherlock’s were great too, but i bet many people would tear up if you started to play Elle’s theme on a piano.  It was a bummer Where the Wild Things are got disqualified because it definitely deserved to be up here on this list. The Academy needs to revamp their rules for original score nominations pronto.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

The Princess and the Frog “Almost There” – Randy Newman

The Princess and the Frog “Down in New Orleans” – Randy Newman

Paris 36 “Loin de Paname” – Reinhardt Wagner and Frank Thomas

Nine “Taki it All” – Maury Yeston

  • Crazy Heart “The Wearry Kind” – Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

Weary Kind should win because it’s just one of those songs that are great end to the movie, and make you sit that extra five minutes in your theatre chair during the credits.

BEST FILM EDITING

Avatar – Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron

District 9 – Julian Clarke

  • The Hurt Locker – Bob Murawski and Chris Innis

Inglourious Basterds – Sally Menke

Precious – Joe Klotz

The editing in Hurt Locker was what made that movie watchable and intense.  Kathryn Bigelow used three different units for each scene so their was a lot of footage to go through, and the film could have been plagued by an overuse of shots.  But instead it was a tightly woven adrenaline rush that never bores.

BEST ART DIRECTION

  • Avatar – Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg, Kim Sinclair

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus – Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro, Carolin Smith

Nine – John Myhre, Gordon Sim

Sherlock Holmes – Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer

The Young Victoria – Patrice Vermette, Maggie Gray

Avatar had a great production design and succeeded in creating an entirely new world from scratch.  There was so much detail that it would take repeat viewings just to see everything on Pandora.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • Avatar – Mauro Fiore

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – Bruno Delbonnel

The Hurt Locker – Barry Ackroyd

Inglourious Basterds – Robert Richardson

The White Ribbon – Christian Berger

This is some ridiculous talent here.  The White Ribbon recently won the cinematographer’s award, so it very well could win the big prize, but I’m going to go with Avatar again.  I could honestly pick almost any of these on a different day.  I thought Harry Potter’s was awesome as well. notably during the sequence at the Weasley house in the middle of the film.  Whether you liked Watchmen or not I felt it got snubbed here.  Awesome nighttime cinematography and the lighting and camera movements really were the best things about that film.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Bright Star – Janet Patterson

Coco Before Chanel – Catherine Leterrier

  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus – Monique Prudhomme

Nine – Colleen Atwood

The Young Victoria – Sandy Powell

I haven’t seen any of these movies so a total guess here – but I’m going with Imaginarium based off the awesome costumes I saw in the trailer.

BEST DIRECTOR

Avatar – James Cameron

  • The Hurt Locker – Kathryn Bigelow

Inglourious Basterds – Quentin Tarantino

Precious – Lee Daniels

Up in the Air – Jason Reitman

The big showdown is between Cameron and Bigelow this year, who used to be husband and wife.  But Bigelow has been winning all the big awards, including the DGA this year.  She used three different camera units to get some really great performances out of her actors.  Most of the time they didn’t even know where the cameras were. If Bigelow wins she will be the first female director to ever win this award, so it could be a historic night.

Tomorrow will be acting and picture predictions!

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