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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 2011 – Part #1: Technical Awards and Writing

Posted on 21 February 2011 by Andrew

This coming Sunday the Academy Awards will be handed out for the 83rd time.  For a while I thought this year was going to be a bad year for movies, but looking at the ten Best Picture nominees I think you can find a great film for just about anyone.  A lot of technical and writing awards have been handed out at other events leading up to the Oscars, and so far their have been a number of surprises.  Not everything is set in stone this year just yet.  Each bold nominee in each category is the one that I predict will win.

Best Visual Effects.

Alice in Wonderland

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Hereafter

Inception

Iron Man 2

The people who worked on Tron Legacy have got to be ticked, they were seen as a frontrunner to win this category for a while.  However, I always felt Inception would win this award.  Many people forget that visual effects aren’t all things you make in the computer.  It’s the models, explosions, stunts, and some set work that create the great visual scenes.  Inception’s hallway fight is one of the most iconic scenes of the year, and it works so well because of the great visual effects team they had to create the set.

Best Sound Editing

Inception

Toy Story 3

TRON: Legacy

True Grit

Unstoppable

This was the hardest one to decide on. True Grit just won a few sound awards last week but I’m going to give the edge to Inception again, mostly because of it’s blockbuster appeal and the immersive sound.  TRON: Legacy really should win because of how crystal clear that design was, and you also can’t count out Toy Story 3 because every sound clip there has to be created from scratch.

Sound Mixing

Inception

The King’s Speech

Salt

The Social Network

True Grit

This is where the sound mixer takes the sound effects, audio and music track and makes one clean audio track for the film.  Once again, very tough pick but I’m going to go with True Grit because it was a great blend of different levels of music mixed with crisp, clear dialogue.  Inception may win this too but that mix was more about how loud can we make everything.

Best Makeup

Barney’s Version

The Way Back

The Wolfman

Rick Baker just can’t be denied.  Plus, out of the three nominees this movie seemed like it required the most makeup work.  The only thing stopping it from winning is if people debate how much was makeup opposed to CGI.

Best Cinematography

Black Swan – Matthew Libatique

Inception – Wally Pfister

The King’s Speech – Danny Cohen

The Social Network – Jeff Cronenweth

True Grit – Roger Deakins

This is an unbelievable list here, but I think Deakins is going to win his first (and long overdue) Oscar.  The Coen Brother’s movies always have great cinematography and that is due to Deakins great work.  I do think Black Swan and The Social Network both deserve this award as well.

Best Film Editing

Black Swan

The Fighter

The King’s Speech

127 Hours

The Social Network

The editing in Social Network is what really makes that movie exciting.  The script is a very long script and without a tight edit the movie would drag.  I’m Kind of surprised Inception didn’t get a nomination for this, but at the same time I really can’t disagree with these nominations.

Best 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

This will come down to Inception and The Social Network, but I am giving the edge to Social Network because of its originality.  Catch me on a different day and I may just pick Inception , I think it will be that close of a vote.

Best Original Song

Coming Home – Country Strong

I See the Light – Tangled

If I Rise – 127 Hours

We Belong Together – Toy Story 3

Does this award have any relevance anymore?  I mean you don’t honor any of the stunt teams at the academy but there is a Oscar for that chick who recorded that one sing to make money off of ???  Oh well, anyways, I think Randy Newman will win because his song wraps the Toy Story trilogy off nicely.

Best Costume Design

Alice in Wonderland

I am Love

The King’s Speech

The Tempest

True Grit

Alice had unbelievable costume designs including some really great stuff for the Red Queen.  Burton movies usually win some of these awards too.

Best Art Direction

Alice in Wonderland

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Inception

The King’s Speech

True Grit

Once again I think this will go to Alice, though also look for The King’s Speech to possibly pick this up if it is having a good night.

Best Director

Darren Aronofsky – Black Swan

David O. Russell – The Fighter

Tom Hooper – The King’s Speech

David Fincher – The Social Network

Joel and Ethan Coen – True Grit

Poor Chris Nolan.  Three DGA nominations yet no Academy nomination for best director yet.  Maybe in a few years for Dark Knight Rises??  Anyways, this is a SUPER close race between Hooper and Fincher.  Hooper won the DGA but I feel Fincher will edge him out from the critic votes.  I also felt Fincher took what is an essentially a very dull story and made it one of the most entertaining films this year.

Best Adapted Screenplay

127 Hours

The Social Network

Toy Story 3

True Grit

Winter’s Bone

Pretty much case closed on this one.

Best Original Screenplay

Another Year

The Fighter

Inception

The Kids Are All Right

The King’s Speech

Inception did win the WGA but The King’s Speech was ineligible.  Could be a close vote and last year Precious upset Up in the Air in the screenplay categories.

In a few days I will have the rest of the predictions including acting and picture awards.

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