Thursday, December 16, 2010

Oscar Update: New Predictions

I thought now that most of the major precursors that will be weighing in before the end of the year have done so, it would be a good idea to look at my updated nomination predictions for the six main categories.

Best Picture
I really do think that these 10 films are your nominees – but I wouldn’t be shocked to see one of them falter down the stretch.
1. The Social Network – The dominant force so far this awards season. I’m still not sure it will win, but a nomination is guaranteed.
2. The King’s Speech – Has been locked since Toronto, and there is not many groups who aren’t putting on their lists. Still not sure it will win.
3. Inception – It has done great so far in the precursors – but then so did The Dark Knight. Won’t win, but with 10 slots, a nomination is undeniable.
4. The Fighter – Has quickly become one of the major players in the season. Acting will carry it through to a nomination.
5. Toy Story 3 – Like Up last year, it has done a good job at getting in everywhere, and with 10 nominees, a lock.
6. Black Swan – It is a love it or hate it film, but it is showing up everywhere so far, so I doubt it will miss.
7. 127 Hours – Hasn’t been as commercial as they hope, and isn’t winning many Film awards, but Franco is solid and the film will be fine.
8. True Grit – Despite the puzzling Globes snub, True Grit seems assured to be one of the 10 – if it hits right, could also pull off a win.
9. The Kids Are All Right – Very well respected by pretty much everyone.
10. Winter’s Bone – The indie darling on the year should mean voters that haven’t seen it yet, will by the time nominations come out.
On the Outside: The Town is the obvious alternative if they want a crowd pleaser instead of Winter’s Bone. Another Year has yet to find its footing this year, and maybe too far behind to start now. Rabbit Hole is increasingly looking like Kidman and not much else.

Very tough to call a final five – aside from 1, no one is locked, and anyone from 2-9 could get in or snubbed.
1. David Fincher, The Social Network – Undeniable at this point – and a definite frontrunner for the win, no matter what happens to the film itself.
2. Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan – Looking for that Oscar breakthough, and looking pretty strong right now.
3. Christopher Nolan, Inception – His film is in a good position to be nominated, and they feel bad about snubbing The Dark Knight.
4. Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech – Directing a well regarded frontrunner could get him in.
5. Danny Boyle, 127 Hours – They really like him after Slumdog, so while he may be slipping, I still think he’s in.
6. Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, True Grit – Coming on strong behind the rest – hoping that one of them stumbles.
7. David O. Russell, The Fighter – People may not like him much, but his film is in the race in a big way.
8. Debra Granik, Winter’s Bone – The type of film directors like more than anyone else – would be nice to see another woman in the game.
9. Mike Leigh, Another Year – They have embraced him when no one else has, so it could happen.
10. Ben Affleck, The Town – Really needs The Town to move up.

Best Actor
I really do think the top 4 are secure – with the fifth spot going to one of the next 3.
1. Colin Firth, The King’s Speech – The nomination is secured, he can now move onto winners mode.
2. James Franco, 127 Hours – Hosting the show may hurt his chances to win, but he is a undeniable nominee.
3. Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network – Has given Firth and Franco a surprising run for their money. – he’s young, but he’s probably assured a nomination.
4. Jeff Bridges, True Grit – Keep the Crazy Heart party going. Could have won if he didn’t last year.
5. Javier Bardem, Biutiful – A hard season so far, but I suspect that the actors will appreciate this more than the critics.
6. Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine – Been hanging around all season – if they see it, he could move up.
7. Robert Duvall, Get Low – The well loved veteran, but being overlooked far too often to be comfortable. The SAG nom helps.
8. Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter – Probably doesn’t get a lot of credit when everyone seems to be talking about Bale and Leo.
9. Aaron Eckhart, Rabbit Hole – Rabbit Hole needs to take off.
10. Paul Giamatti, Barney’s Version/Kevin Spacey, Casino Jack – The Globe nods keeps them in play, but not for much longer.

Best Actress
Top 4 are pretty much locked – and it is a battle between 5 and 6 for the final spot.
1. Natalie Portman, Black Swan – Looking very hard to beat right now.
2. Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right – Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.
3. Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone – This year’s It Girl.
4. Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole – Best work in a long time, and getting noticed for it as well.
5. Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine – They like her, so as long as they see it.
6. Lesley Manville, Another Year – A tough road ahead for her, when a little while ago she looked very good.
7. Hilary Swank, Conviction – That curious SAG nomination (made all the stranger because Rockwell didn’t get in) may help her – but I have a feeling Academy viewers are a little more discerning.
8. Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right – Two from one movie is hard.
9. Anne Hathaway, Love & Other Drugs – Just not getting enough support.
10. Halle Berry, Frankie & Alice – The Globe nomination keeps her in play – but not for long.

Best Supporting Actor
The top 2 have so dominated this year, it’s hard to get a feel for the top 5.
1. Christian Bale, The Fighter – Your likely winner.
2. Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech – The actor’s actor, hamming it up brilliantly in an frontrunner.
3. Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right – He makes it look so easy. Too easy?
4. Andrew Garfield, The Social Network – A breakout year, almost a co-lead in the frontrunner, but has to worry about internal competition.
5. Jeremy Renner, The Town – They liked him last year, and he’s very good in a very well liked film.
6. Bill Murray, Get Low – Without Duvall, I find this hard to see happening.
7. Sam Rockwell, Conviction – Reviews for him were good, but no one liked the movie that much – and it tanked at the box office to boot.
8. John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone – Been a fixture all season, and the SAG nod helps – but normally they go 4 for 5, and I bet he’s the odd man out.
9. Matt Damon, True Grit – Excellent reviews, but hasn’t shown up anywhere yet. Strange.
10. Michael Douglas, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – Only if the Academy decides to give him the same “Please don’t die” vote that got him into the Globes race.
11. Justin Timberlake/Armie Hamer, The Social Network – Could steal Garfield’s thunder enough that none of them make it.

Best Supporting Actress
Has been the most fluid acting category this year, with people moving up and down constantly – I do feel fairly good about the top 4 though.
1. Melissa Leo, The Fighter – Left over Frozen River goodwill and a showy role in a contender, means shes a nominee.
2. Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit – They often go young in this category – and being the true lead won’t hurt her.
3. Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech – It helps when you have the only meaningful female role in a frontrunner.
4. Amy Adams, The Fighter – The really do love her, and in a weak year, that’s good enough. 5. Mila Kunis, Black Swan – Has shown up in quite a few precursors – especially the important ones – the Globes and SAG
6. Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom – Has continued to be in play all season – but voters really do need to see it, and the lack of a SAG nom may mean they haven’t.
7. Dianne Wiest, Rabbit Hole – Surprisingly, this Oscar favorite hasn’t gotten much yet. That could change.
8. Barbara Hershey, Black Swan – Kunis seems to be stealing the awards from her, but could happen.
9. Sissy Spacek, Get Low – Needs Duvall and Murray to move up if she wants to.

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