Oscar Predictions: 9/15

Apologies for the lack of postage. Usual sort of homework/illness/laziness factors. Anyway, let’s start things off with bullet points from Toronto:

  • Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter” has drawn very mixed reviews, but I am not counting it out of the race at all. In fact, I’m slightly terrified that it’s just the kind of self-important middle-brow drama the Academy will eat up (see “Crash,” “Babel,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”). A rave from Roger Ebert (who, one might recall, not only predicted but approved of the “Crash” victory over “Brokeback Mountain”) helps prove the point. I won’t be sold unless it starts popping up in the precursors, but it’s definitely lurking.
  • Robert Redford’s “The Conspirator” has drawn favorable reviews and picked up distribution (to be co-released by Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions), but will not be an awards contender, as its release has been scheduled for spring 2011.
  • Sally Hawkins has three films at TIFF this year (“Made in Dagenham,” “Never Let Me Go” and “Submarine”) and is picking up serious ‘belle of the ball’ talk. Definitely keep an eye on her. Side note: if “The King’s Speech,” “Another Year” AND “Made in Dagenham” can all make it into the Oscar 10, we will really know just how much power the British bloc has picked up in recent years.

Now, a couple video clips to pass along: first, the trailer for the new film “The Tourist,” from Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (“The Lives of Others”), which promises to be a glamorous and entertaining holiday romp.

Second, a brief clip from “The King’s Speech,” which confirms that the film definitely has its own visual flair, and does not have that usual flat, straight, costume-drama look that I was expecting, not to mention some great humor – definitely moving it up my list of titles to see.

To business. Looking down my predictions from a couple of weeks ago, I realized a crucial error in picking my top 10 (besides leaving out “The King’s Speech”): the list was too, well, good. I need a weak link, something the critics met with a resounding “blah” but either a) audiences or b) stuffy Academy types ate up. “Crash.” “The Blind Side.” “Michael Clayton.” “The Reader.” What could fill that gag-inducing slot this year? For my money, the best candidates are “Hereafter,” “Secretariat” and “Conviction.” But who knows; “The Blind Side” really did come out of nowhere last year, so it might be something not even on our radar.

In other news, I’m sadly stripping “The Way Back” out of my predictions until we get some confirmation that it will, in fact, get an awards-qualifying run in December. The Golden Lion victory for “Somewhere” will not, I think, translate into a BP or director nomination, but it definitely lays a strong foundation now for a Best Actor campaign, a la Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler.” Also, further raves are appearing from bloggers lucky enough to have “The Social Network” screened for them, so Jesse Eisenberg is looking like a stronger contender every day. Let’s do it to it!

Best Picture:

  • 127 Hours
  • Another Year
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • The King’s Speech
  • Secretariat
  • The Social Network
  • Toy Story 3
  • True Grit

Best Director:

  • Danny Boyle, 127 Hours
  • David Fincher, The Social Network
  • Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
  • Mike Leigh, Another Year
  • David O. Russell, The Fighter

Best Actor:

  • Jeff Bridges, True Grit
  • Stephen Dorff, Somewhere
  • Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
  • James Franco, 127 Hours
  • Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine

Best Actress:

  • Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
  • Diane Lane, Secretariat
  • Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
  • Lesley Manville, Another Year
  • Natalie Portman, Black Swan

Best Supporting Actor:

  • Christian Bale, The Fighter
  • Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
  • Sam Rockwell, Conviction
  • Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
  • Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech

Best Supporting Actress:

  • Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
  • Barbara Hershey, Black Swan
  • Melissa Leo, The Fighter
  • Miranda Richardson, Made in Dagenham
  • Kristin Scott Thomas, Nowhere Boy

Best Original Score:

  • Carter Burwell, True Grit
  • Elliot Goldenthal, The Tempest
  • Randy Newman, Toy Story 3
  • Rachel Portman, Never Let Me Go
  • Hans Zimmer, Inception

Best Original Screenplay:

  • Paul Attansio, Lewis Colich, Eric Johnson, Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, The Fighter
  • Stuart Blumberg, Lisa Cholodenko, The Kids Are All Right
  • Mike Leigh, Another Year
  • Christopher Nolan, Inception
  • David Speidler, The King’s Speech

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  • Michael Arndt, Toy Story 3
  • Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy, 127 Hours
  • Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, True Grit
  • Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini, Winter’s Bone
  • Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network

3 thoughts on “Oscar Predictions: 9/15

  1. Your Best Picture list looks to be pretty much in line with the current consensus.

    I have seen only three of the films . . . but that doesn’t stop me from, also, doing a list.

    My list looks similar to yours.

  2. Sad news about “The Conspirator.” No James McAvoy run then. 😦

    And I’m also sad to see “Never Let Me Go” kicked out of Best Picture 10. Boo…

  3. Going with the consensus is unfortunately pretty much the only option available when you can’t make it to the festivals yourself and have to rely on other blogs for reactions… 😛

    The more I read about “Never Let Me Go,” the less I think the Academy will bite in the big categories. The Academy generally doesn’t like their emotion muted and subtle; they like to know for sure how they’re supposed to feel about what’s happening on screen. Though again, that’s a call that I will never feel totally comfortable with until I see the movie for myself. Carey Mulligan is most definitely in the mix for Best Actress, though. It’s an uncharacteristically crowded field in that category this year.

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