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February 22, 2011


I have no idea who's getting an Oscar

The royal family in The King's Speech

Ballots are due today! I'm more perplexed than usual this year about who's going to win. Lots of categories are complete mysteries, even when I apply my standard Oscars prediction algorithm: Hollywood Loves to Feel Good About Hollywood. I've seen just about every movie that got major nominations this year (with the exception of Toy Story 3) but that hasn't helped at all.

The fact is, a mysterious consensus sometimes just magically coalesces around nominees for no apparent reason; as Roger Ebert describes it, "such matters are decided by currents wafting in the air." Sometimes everybody notices those forces at work, like with Colin Firth this year, but sometimes I completely miss them, like when Slumdog Millionaire won like every single damn Oscar that one year.

So here we go. These are our predictions for what will win, not necessarily what we want to win. Here are all the nominees, and the NY Times' online ballot. You can put your own picks in the comments.

Best Picture
"Black Swan"
"The Fighter"
"The Kids Are All Right"
"The King's Speech" (Amy) Hollywood people feel better about rewarding inspiring and sentimental movies like this rather than one about back-stabbing greedy nerds.
"127 Hours"
"The Social Network"
"Toy Story 3"
"True Grit"
"Winter's Bone"

Best Actor
Javier Bardem in "Biutiful"
Jeff Bridges in "True Grit"
Jesse Eisenberg in "The Social Network"
Colin Firth in "The King's Speech" (Amy) He's really great, as he is in everything. I'd love Jesse Eisenberg to get it, but he's got plenty of time.
James Franco in "127 Hours"

Best Actress
Annette Bening in "The Kids Are All Right"
Nicole Kidman in "Rabbit Hole"
Jennifer Lawrence in "Winter's Bone"
Natalie Portman in "Black Swan" (Amy) Natalie gets the curse. So much for your new happy life! Annette Bening deserves to win after all these years, but histrionics trump subtlety in actress awards.
Michelle Williams in "Blue Valentine"

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale in "The Fighter" (Amy) The least interesting nominee in my favorite category of the year. Still, not half bad.
John Hawkes in "Winter's Bone"
Jeremy Renner in "The Town"
Mark Ruffalo in "The Kids Are All Right"
Geoffrey Rush in "The King's Speech"

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams in "The Fighter"
Helena Bonham Carter in "The King's Speech"
Melissa Leo in "The Fighter" (Amy) Not happy about this one, and I usually love Melissa Leo. Hailee Steinfeld's my girl.
Hailee Steinfeld in "True Grit"
Jacki Weaver in "Animal Kingdom"

Best Director
"Black Swan" Darren Aronofsky
"The Fighter" David O. Russell
"The King's Speech" Tom Hooper (Amy) Really hard category. No way would I predict this guy, but he won DGA, and Best Picture and Best Director are almost always the same. I'd rather see anyone else win, and not just because I'm a patriot.
"The Social Network" David Fincher
"True Grit" Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Adapted Screenplay
"127 Hours"
"The Social Network" (Amy) Here's another one for you, Aaron Sorkin.
"Toy Story 3"
"True Grit"
"Winter's Bone"

Original Screenplay
"Another Year"
"The Fighter"
"The Kids Are All Right"
"The King's Speech" (Amy) But I hope Mike Leigh wins for Another Year. Or at least that Christopher Nolan doesn't for that awful Inception script.

Animated Feature Film
"How to Train Your Dragon"
"The Illusionist"
"Toy Story 3" (Amy) Anyone else think this award is getting tedious?

Art Direction
"Alice in Wonderland" (Amy) Good art direction is what Tim Burton does these days instead of good movies.
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1"
"The King's Speech"
"True Grit"

"Black Swan"
"The King's Speech"
"The Social Network"
"True Grit" (Amy) Go Roger Deakins! It's your year!

Costume Design
"Alice in Wonderland"
"I Am Love"
"The King's Speech" (Amy)
"The Tempest"
"True Grit"

"Exit Through the Gift Shop"
"Inside Job" (Amy) Really wish it was Banksy, but it's very important that we punish Wall Street via an entertainment industry awards ceremony.
"Waste Land"

Documentary (Short Subject)
"Killing in the Name"
"Poster Girl"
"Strangers No More" (Amy) Cute refugee children in Tel Aviv. Awww.
"Sun Come Up"
"The Warriors of Qiugang"

Film Editing
"Black Swan"
"The Fighter"
"The King's Speech"
"127 Hours"
"The Social Network" (Amy) Sure are a lot of cuts in this movie! I hope Black Swan wins, but since "Best" is usually synonymous with "Most", this probably will.

Foreign Language Film
"Biutiful" Mexico
"Dogtooth" Greece
"In a Better World" Denmark
"Incendies" Canada (Amy) I hear it's pretty.
"Outside the Law" Algeria

"Barney's Version"
"The Way Back"
"The Wolfman" (Amy) Definitely the hardest makeup, anyway.

Original Score
"How to Train Your Dragon"
"The King's Speech"
"127 Hours"
"The Social Network" (Amy) Not so confident the Academy will bestow its greatest honor on Trent Reznor, but it's possible.

Original Song
"Coming Home" from "Country Strong"
"I See the Light" from "Tangled"
"If I Rise" from "127 Hours"
"We Belong Together" from "Toy Story 3" (Amy) I assumed Randy Newman had dozens of Oscars, but he's actually only got one.

Animated Short Film
"Day & Night" (Amy) Pixar always wins. I liked The Gruffalo.
"The Gruffalo"
"Let's Pollute"
"The Lost Thing"
"Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)"

Short Film
"The Confession"
"The Crush" (Amy) I love Alicia Silverstone!
"God of Love"
"Na Wewe"
"Wish 143"

Sound Editing
"Toy Story 3"
"Tron: Legacy"
"True Grit"
"Unstoppable" (Amy) That train and Rosario Dawson both sounded pretty scary in the trailer.

Sound Mixing
"The King's Speech"
"The Social Network" (Amy) Sound Editing and Sound Mixing can have different nominees?
"True Grit"

Visual Effects
"Alice in Wonderland"
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1"
"Inception" (Amy) One thing this movie got 100% right.
"Iron Man 2"

categories: Movies
posted by amy at 8:40 PM | #

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Oscar time already! I only just saw The Departed, I'm so far behind. Although I did see Toy Story 3. It's good, but not Best Picture good.

I'll go with The Social Network to be different, but I have faith in you on your other choices. I just watched Pride and Prejudice (yet again), and am always amazed at Colin Firth's ability to emote through staring. I'll definitely be rooting for him.

The only pick of yours I'll actually be rooting against is Alice in Wonderland in the Best Art Direction category. While I admit to plenty of non-love for the film, I do recognize its imaginative style. But really? It just doesn't seem that difficult to fancy up Alice in Wonderland, so... I just wasn't impressed enough to call it the Best of the Year. As Mr Darcy says, it's "tolerable, I suppose, but not handsome enough to tempt me."

That and the movie was gawdawful. So I'll go with what I'm sure is the impressive historic design of The King's Speech.

But I hope you're right in all the other categories. Thanks for another Oscar rundown!

Posted by: ORStylee at February 23, 2011 2:43 AM

I still haven't seen a single Toy Story! That's a project for this year.

The main reason I picked Alice in Wonderland to win Best Art Direction is that the Academy has never failed to give Tim Burton that award if he's nominated for it, which I just read the other day in this article:


They are a stodgy bunch, very set in their ways. Comedies: bad. Holocaust: good. Tim Burton's Art Direction: worthy of an award even if the movie sucks.

Though it's definitely true that when a movie sweeps, it sweeps big. So maybe this is the year that Tim Burton gets shut out and the great, somewhat inexplicable tsunami of love for The King's Speech knocks out everything else.

Though it has been an amazing year for Helena Bonham-Carter: four of her movies got nominations! King's Speech, Harry Potter, Alice, and The Gruffalo.

Posted by: amy at February 24, 2011 9:29 PM

I am already dreading Tim Burton's Holocaust-movie Oscar sweep.

This is like much Ellen stuff---not all that good and not very funny, yet inexplicably charming: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7CubE28X48M

Posted by: That Fuzzy Bastard at February 27, 2011 12:21 AM

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