Oscar Predictions: 9/1

The Venice Film Festival officially opened this morning with “Black Swan,” which is receiving instant raves for both Aronofsky and star Natalie Portman. Here’s a sample from Todd McCarthy over at Indiewire:
As a sensory experience for the eyes and ears, “Black Swan” provides bountiful stimulation. Aronofsky and cinematographer Matthew Libatique choreograph the camera in beautiful counterpoint to Portman’s dance moves, especially in rehearsals, and the muted color scheme on rather grainy stock look like a more refined version of what the director did on “The Wrestler.” Tchaikovsky’s ever-present music supplies plenty of its own drama and the dance world details seem plausible enough.
The general trend in the reviews I’m getting is “like The Wrestler, but better and trippier.” Considering that “The Wrestler” has been progressively growing on me as one of my favorite films from 2008, I’m starting to get ravenous. It’s always satisfying to see a hotly anticipated title with a great trailer deliver on its potential like this. “Black Swan” will be released into U.S. theaters on December 1.
And now, before I unveil my first stab at Oscar predictions, a word about my choices and the road ahead. Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” seems to be sitting in release date limbo at the moment; some say Malick still hasn’t finished editing his latest opus. But considering the film has been delayed for over a year now, you’ve got to imagine that as long as Malick is finished before December 31, Apparition is going to push the damn thing into theaters. Anyway, Malick is scheduled to start shooting his next film sometime in November, so it seems likely that we’ll “Tree of Life” before the year is out. But until we get official confirmation on that, I’m going to take it out of the equation. It could be a game-changer if we have to bring it back into consideration later.
The biggest unseen contenders are probably “Conviction,” “127 Hours,” “The Fighter,” “The Way Back,” “True Grit” and “The King’s Speech.” Will those titles fall the way of “Nine” and “The Lovely Bones” or of “Avatar?” It’s always hard to tell when you’re calling ’em from this far out. And there’s always something like “The Blind Side” lurking to take everyone by surprise (maybe Disney’s “Secretariat” this year?). In any case, “The Social Network” seems primed and pumped to take over the role of frontrunner; it will be interesting to see whether it can sustain that place, especially considering the huge amount of press it is guaranteed to receive.
Anyway, here are my Oscar predictions for September 1. The Contenders section will also be updated. For now, I’ll only be doing the top 9 categories; I need to do some more research before considering the tech categories. Nominees are also not yet ranked in terms of likeliness to win. I’ll wait until at least October before declaring frontrunners. Welcome to Awards Season 2010!
Best Picture:
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network
  • Inception
  • Toy Story 3
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • Never Let Me Go
  • The Fighter
  • True Grit
  • Blue Valentine
  • Another Year

Best Director:

  • Danny Boyle, 127 Hours
  • Coen Bros., True Grit
  • David Fincher, The Social Network
  • David O. Russell, The Fighter
  • Mike Leigh, Another Year

Best Actor:

  • Jeff Bridges, True Grit
  • James Franco, 127 Hours
  • Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter
  • Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
  • Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine

Best Actress:

  • Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine
  • Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
  • Lesley Manville, Another Year
  • Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
  • Natalie Portman, Black Swan

Best Supporting Actor:

  • Christian Bale, The Fighter
  • Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
  • Andrew Garfield, The Social Network/Never Let Me Go (whichever emerges as his more-buzzed performance)
  • Sam Rockwell, Conviction
  • Ed Harris, The Way Back

Best Supporting Actress:

  • Melissa Leo, The Fighter
  • Elle Fanning, Somewhere
  • Barbara Hershey, Black Swan
  • Marion Cotillard, Inception
  • Kristin Scott Thomas, Nowhere Boy

Best Original Score:

  • Hans Zimmer, Inception
  • Alexander Desplat, Harry Potter
  • Carter Burwell, True Grit
  • Randy Newman, Toy Story 3
  • Burkhard von Dallwitz, The Way Back

Best Original Screenplay:

  • Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson, The Fighter
  • Lisa Cholodenko, Stuart Blumberg, The Kids Are All Right
  • Mike Leigh, Another Year
  • Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz, Black Swan
  • Christopher Nolan, Inception

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  • Michael Arndt, Toy Story 3
  • Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network
  • Joel Coen, Ethan Coen True Grit
  • Alex Garland, Never Let Me Go
  • Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini, Winter’s Bone

One thought on “Oscar Predictions: 9/1

  1. I have nothing productive to say, particularly since I just asked you all the questions with you sitting next to me, so I’ll just say: I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!

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