Monday, February 21, 2011

Oscars Preview and Prediction Post! The 2010 Edition!

The nominations are out and the 27th of February is fast approaching!  Time for us to look a little deeper at the categories and look at who will win (as well as who the winner should be) in the annual Oscars Preview and Prediction Post!


While I am a huge fan of most of the actors on this list, and I would love another Dude-like acceptance speech from the Dude (aka Jeff Bridges), it seems like this Oscar is going to go to Collin Firth for The King's Speech.  The only question is, does he stutter while giving his acceptance speech?  James Franco is probably the most deserving, his performance in 127 Hours literally makes the movie what it is, but his time will certainly come.  It's not as if he won't be getting lots of exposure considering he's hosting these very Oscars!

Will Win- Colin Firth
Should Win- James Franco


Natalie Portman should and will win for her amazing, gritty, and disturbing performance in Black Swan.  I'm okay with that since I love Portman.  But part of me is rooting for Michele Williams, since she is starring in a movie produced by a friend of mine's brother.

Will Win- Natalie Portman
Should Win- Natalie Portman


As much as my admiration and appreciation for Christian Bale has waned over the last few years, partly because of his over the top gravelly Batman voice which was the only negative thing in the entirety of The Dark Knight, and especially because of his Trashing Your Lights tirade, his dedication to his craft (that being acting) has never been questionable, and the way he disappeared into this role will probably reward him with an Oscar.  Of course, that will probably only make him more difficult to work with, but what can you do?  The only other possibility in this category is that Geoffrey Rush wins for his performance in The King's Speech.  Ultimately, I think that the statue will go to Bale, however, because his performance was much more challenging than Rush's, even though Rush was fantastic in this film.  John Hawkes is one of my favorite actors, I absolutely love him in Eastbound and Down, and he was very good in Winter's Bone, a film that I really didn't like that much, but the acting is terrific.  Mark Ruffalo was probably the very best part of the very good The Kid's are All Right, and I'm looking forward to him as Bruce Banner in The Avengers.  I'm also glad that Jeremy Renner is getting more and more notoriety.  On a side note, I think that Justin Timberlake probably deserved a nomination here for his portrayal of the creator of Napster in The Social Network.  But again, what can you do?

Will Win- Christian Bale
Should Win- Christian Bale


Without question, this award needs to go to Hailee Steinfeld.  In fact, she should have recieved a Best Actress in a Leading Role nomination.  She was definitely in a leading role, as her character was without a doubt the main character in the piece.  However, she had to settle for a supporting nomination.  Unfortunately, I doubt that she will win, even though she deserves to.  I think that Helena Bonham Carter will probably walk away with the award, and were Steinfeld in the Lead Actress category where she belongs, I'd probably agree with Helena winning here.

Will Win- Helena Bonham Carter
Should Win- Hailee Steinfeld



These technical categories always give us a sense of where we'll end up at the end of the night.  If True Grit is going to give the Coen's the second best picture win in four years, they'll start by taking this one away from The King's Speech.  It wouldn't shock me if it happened, especially because even with all the nominations, I don't think that The King's Speech is going to be the big winner tonight.  That being said, safe money is on The King's Speech taking this award.

Will Win- The King's Speech
Should Win- True Grit


Again, a category where the two Best Picture faves, The Social Network and The King's Speech aren't going against each other, so no clues on who will come out on top there, but if an interloper is going to enter the fray, we could get a clue here, and again that possible entrant is True Grit.  The award will probably go to The King's Speech, but it wouldn't be a shocker if True Grit pulls off the win, since the film probably deserves the win anyway.

Will Win- The King's Speech
Should Win- True Grit




Usually the winner of these awards is a genre picture.  Most of the time that genre picture isn't nominated for Best Picture.  I'm not sure that you would really call Inception a genre picture, but in reality, it is science fiction.  It is also an action pic on many levels, and it will win both of these awards while also being up for Best Picture.

Will Win- Inception
Should Win- Inception



The same pretty much goes for this category.  It is hard to deny the amazing effects in Nolan's masterful film.  A possibility here, however, is Hereafter.  The Academy loves them some Clint Eastwood, and the effects of the opening Tsunami is pretty much the only praise worthy thing in this film, so it wouldn't surprise me too much if it won here.

Will Win- Inception
Should Win- Inception


It's a shame that True Grit isn't up for this award.  I always hope that Roderick Jaynes will win this Oscar since he doesn't exist, but is actually the pseudonym of Joel and Ethan Coen.  Of those nominated, I think that The Social Network is going to win the award, but it probably should go to Weisblum for his work in Black Swan.  The frenetic feel of that film, the confusion and horror were due in large part to the editing.

Will Win- The Social Network
Should Win- Black Swan



The two scores I enjoyed the most of those nominated this year are Inception and The Social Network, but I really felt that Clint Mansell's score for Black Swan should have been nominated.  I'm actually a big fan of Alexandre Desplat, as I think his score for The Fantastic Mr. Fox was among the best scores last year.  HP7 was great this year as well, so Desplat definitely is deserving of winning an Oscar, but I don't think he should win for The King's Speech.  The score, as beautiful as it was, was a little too on the nose, leading the audience toward the obvious emotion that they were supposed to feel, rather than simply subtly setting the mood the way an Oscar winning score should, in my opinion.  So, as it is, I think that Trent Reznor is going to be an Oscar winner.

Will Win- The Social Network
Should Win- The Social Network



There is no runaway favorite this year, and there isn't a movie that has multiple songs up for this award either.  I think the award will go to Tangled.  It's a good song, and a lot of voters felt the film should have received more nominations then it did.

Will Win-"I See the Light" Tangled
Should Win- "I See the Light" Tangled


I still think that it is a shame that MegaMind and Despicable Me weren't nominated in this spot, and a lot of others feel the same way about Tangled.  As it is, it wouldn't really have mattered much in the grand scheme of things, since Toy Story 3 will win this hands down.

Will Win- Toy Story 3
Should Win- Toy Story 3


A lot of people are shocked that Waiting For Superman didn't end up getting a nomination, myself among them, but I think the best documentary of the year ended up being nominated.  Exit Through the Gift Shop is a very odd film, however, so I am not sure that it will actually win.  I'm definitely hoping it does, but seeing as this award usually goes to the political film, I doubt that a movie about such odd characters and such an odd subject like street artists fits that mold.  It is the best film of the bunch though, so I'm holding out hope.

Will Win- Inside Job
Should Win- Exit Through the Gift Shop


Without question, the best Cinematography this year was that of Roger Deakins in True Grit.  It is an utter crime that he hasn't already won an Oscar.  He certainly deserved it a couple of years ago for No Country For Old Men if not for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford that same year.  He was also the DP for recent Best Picture nominees Doubt, The Reader, and A Serious Man.  I can't believe he hasn't won an Oscar already.  Thankfully, I think that drought ends this year.

Will Win- True Grit
Should Win- True Grit



The winner of the Best Picture almost always wins for its Screenplay as well.  The two overwhelming favorites for Best Picture this year are in separate categories for Screenplay, so no clues here this year.  We'll have to wait for Director.  That being said, I would probably pick different winners than the two that will win this year, but I can't complain about Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing and Sports Night, winning an Oscar!

Will Win Adapted- The Social Network
Should Win Adapted- True Grit

Will Win Original- The King's Speech
Should Win Original- Inception


Most years, the winner of this award also directed the film that wins Best Picture.  The only time that doesn't happen is when the votes are very close between the top two films for Best Picture.  In those cases you can sometimes see a split.  A split wouldn't shock me this year, but I'm not going to pick the split.  I feel very confident that I'm right on the Best Director, so if there is a split, I think it will be because I'm wrong on Best Picture.  Of course, I think that Darren Aronofsky actually did the best directing job this year with the dark and troubling Black Swan.

Will Win- David Fincher
Should Win- Darren Aronofsky


Black Swan

Although the themes in this film and Aronofsky's last, The Wrestler, were very similar, this film was far better than that one.  The characters were much more intriguing to me, and the story was exhilarating, heartbreaking, and quite scary all at the same time.  Definitely worthy of the nomination. 

The Fighter
I'm not really a fan of sports movies in general, and boxing movies are often the worst of the lot.  There really aren't that many stories you can do with boxing, and most of the time they are only attempting to recapture the magic of Raging Bull when we don't need another Raging Bull. This film was fine, I enjoyed it, but it certainly isn't best picture worthy.  Bale's performance is unbelievable, but the story is as predictable as you might expect from a sports movie.  Most of the problems are overcome a little too easily, and the only character arc I really bought in the entire film is Bale's.  Plus, it is pretty annoying for a film that takes place in the 90s to have a car with a 2011 registration sticker being driven by the main character.  Those sorts of things shouldn't happen in films that get best picture nominations.

For most of the year, this movie topped my Top Ten.  (Whether it ultimately finished there or not, you will have to wait until later this week when my Top Ten is released to find out).  It is an incredibly imaginative film and has a "I need to see that again" quality that is rare in cinema these days.  Christopher Nolan is unquestionably a genius, and once again Leo proves that he is far more than just a pretty face.  The beautiful ending moment that left everyone talking was just icing on an already scrumptious cake.  (That last sentence was primarily written because I really wanted to write the word scrumptious, but the point stands.  Even though the ending got a lot of the notice, the film was brilliant long before that moment.)

The Kids Are All Right
This film was very well made.  The performances are fantastic and the story is great.  I was very disappointed with where Mark Ruffalo's character ends this film (especially since his character and his performance as that character really make the movie as strong as it is).  Upon thinking about it though, I think that it makes sense to leave his character where the film does, and that maybe we aren't supposed to like it.  I find the film very believable, even with the unsettled feeling I have at the end where Mark Ruffalo's character is concerned.

The King's Speech
It's a very good film, and if it does end up winning the night, which it very well might, I won't feel as bad about it as I have some other recent winners.  The reason that it wouldn't be my choice is primarily the fact that it force feeds the sentimentality a little too much in my opinion.  The score in particular is working overtime to pull your heartstrings at the "appropriate" moments.  It's, as I said, a very good film, and in a year where there aren't too many very good films, it certainly stands out.  Had it been a little less heavy handed in its use of emotional manipulators and been more subtle instead, I probably would have liked it a lot more.  While I do believe that this has a very good chance of being named the best picture of the year, I think that Tom Hooper has a much smaller chance of taking Best Director in some part because of this very issue.

127 Hours
While Danny Boyle can be hit (Trainspotting, Sunshine) or miss (Slumdog Millionaire) with me, and honestly, there are a few things that missed in this film for me, primarily the overabundance of the use of video (although some of that worked fine, especially in the cavern when Aron is filming himself believing he is about to die) and the crazy editing throughout the film, ultimately the performance that Franco gives vaults this movie into new heights.  Even though for much of the film it is just Franco, you never fail to stay connected to the film and the plight of the character.  This is even more impressive when you consider that most people know the outcome of the situation before they ever see the movie!

The Social Network
Much like I said when I reviewed the film, I was very wary of the idea of this movie when I heard about it, but began to be excited when I heard the names attached.  Ultimately, the pedigree of Fincher and Sorkin won out.  This was a story that needed to be told, and it was told by exactly the people who could best tell it.  I think this film is going to win Best Picture this year, and while it wasn't my choice for the best film of the year, it is definitely a deserving film, and there weren't many films that could make that claim this year, so I won't complain if this film wins.

Toy Story 3
With each successive Toy Story film, PIXAR outdoes themselves.  As much as I loved the first, the second was even better.  Then as good as the second was, this one blows it out of the water.  It has been a privilege to grow up with these films and these characters and to know that an entirely new generation is falling in love with Buzz and Woody the way that I once did.  It amazes me that computer animated pixels of toys can bring such emotion to the screen, and out of me as well.

True Grit
The Coen Brothers are among my favorite filmmakers.  They have never made a film that I didn't enjoy, and a majority of their films are brilliant.  As much as I love their entire filmography, this might be the best movie that they have ever made, and that is saying something.  Even though this film won't win Best Picture, I am very glad that the Coen Brothers are finally getting the recognition year in year out that they deserve.

Winter's Bone
I honestly don't know how this film got nominated.  The acting in this film are top notch, as was the music, but that is about it.  The pacing in this film was terrible, the story is basically the same as the story in True Grit, but not handled nearly as superbly, and it all wraps up a little too neatly for me (unlike True Grit, which makes everyone pay heavily for getting their desired results).  Ultimately, this was a year that the Academy was probably hurt for its decision to have ten best picture nominees, as there probably weren't ten movies that really deserved the honor.  This film certainly didn't, in my opinion.

Since, as I said, I am not predicting the split in this category and the category of best director, it should be clear that I am picking Social Network to win.  Again, however, I must make clear that I wouldn't be at all astonished if The King's Speech manages to win instead here giving us a Best Picture winner from a different director than the winner of Best Director.  I suppose we'll know in a week!

Will Win- The Social Network
Should Win- read my upcoming Top Ten to find out!

Until Next Time, shortly after the Oscars are completed, it will be time for my 6th Annual My Thoughts As I Had Them During The Oscars Post!  So make sure and tune in for that!

1 comment:

  1. First of all, thank God someone's standing up for Justin Timberlake.

    Second, I was not really impressed by Helena Bonham Carter at all. She seemed almost like she could have been replaced by a protocol droid and nothing would have felt any different. Hailee Steinfeld is probably my vote for best performance of the year, period. There's gonna be some fightin' words coming from me if she doesn't make it. And I agree: she should have been nominated for best lead actress.

    Third, after Social Network, my favorite score was TRON: Legacy. A lot of the other scores just seemed so normal.

    Finally, where the heck is MegaMind? I'm happy they included How to Train Your Dragon, but I'm with you: WTF, academy!