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January 25, 2011

Oscar Nominations

Full list here.

Here are my picks. I am doing the Bill Murray thing -- "I never saw this movie (and never even heard of it) so it can't win" -- but anyway, here's my guess/pick.


Best Picture:

127 HOURS (Fox Searchlight)
An Hours Production Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers

I really have no idea what this movie is. Barely heard of it. But people say good things so I guess it could win.


BLACK SWAN (Fox Searchlight)
A Protozoa and Phoenix Pictures Production Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers

This is my pick. I figure they just want to give the Oscar to Aronofsky and Portman and this movie was both accessible and sorta ambitious. Sorta. It was a decent thriller, so it married commerce and art.

INCEPTION (Warner Bros)
A Warner Bros. UK Services Production Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers

No way this wins. It was ambitious and very good-looking but pretentious and empty and I think after the initial critical buzz people started to get that, as exemplified by that deadly South Park Parody. It really was a popcorn movie, but dressed up to seem important, and in that way, I think, kind of annoying. I like popcorn movies, and I don't see how pretending they're saying something important about the subconscious makes them actually important. It just makes them sort of lacking in self-awareness.

THE FIGHTER (Paramount)
A Relativity Media Production David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers

I heard of this. Not enough to win.

THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (Focus Features)
An Antidote Films, Mandalay Vision and Gilbert Films Production Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers

This is one of those movies that strokes the liberal erogenous zone so every critic overrates it by one full star. I am guessing it was really a pleasant indy dramedy that should have gotten three stars, but liberal critics elevated it into a four-star triumph of the ages.

I assume that, because that's what they always do. (Though some conservative critics thought it was a nice little movie.)

If that's the case, then they've already promoted it beyond its merits, and they'll probably restrain themselves from further puffery. This is one of those "we're being nice just by including you" nominations, I figure.

THE KING'S SPEECH (The Weinstein Co)
A See-Saw Films and Bedlam Production Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers

I hate this kind of movie. It's a pretty trivial plot -- I've got nothing against trivial plots; I like 'em -- but it takes what seems a pretty minor thing, a bit of speech coaching, and elevates it into Important Movie Status because it has people with British accents in it, and it's period, and there's a king involved.

I figure this is another "we're just being nice" nomination.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK (Sony Pictures)
A Columbia Pictures Production Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin, Producers

A lot of people saw it, and, like Black Swan, it's considered both a commercial and artistic success. Further, it's a biopic, and Oscar loves a biopic.

On the other hand, there is a genuine question whether too much of it was simply made up. That seems contrary to the rules of biopics -- biopics are by nature very messy and dramatically unsatisfying, because people's lives are messy and almost never fit neatly into some nice dramatic arc. Aaron Sorkin's way of squaring that circle seems to be just makin' stuff up.

I think that will be held against it. Yeah, it's a much more entertaining movie about this subject matter than you would have guessed, but just making up key motivations, drives, and obsessions for real-life people seems to be, as Robert Frost said of non-rhyming poetry, playing tennis without a net.

I figure people don't like Aaoron Sorkin as a personal matter, either.

In addition, as far as biopics, the main character here just isn't very compelling or very important in the scheme of things. He created FaceBook, a time waster, and made a lot of money. Just seems to lack the Very Important Things Are Going On Here heft of a usual biopic.

TOY STORY 3 (Walt Disney)
A Pixar Production Darla K. Anderson, Producer

This probably should win, since everyone was talking about how amazing it was (I didn't see it), but it won't win, because it was released forever ago, made 100 metric tons of money, and is animated, and Hollywood is already scared shitless about the decline of the theater in favor of tv and reality tv winning out over scripted shows and so they're really not looking to accelerate a new challenger (animation) over traditional Hollywood art and craft. No way it wins.

Again, though, based on the raves? Probably really should be a contender, but won't be.

TRUE GRIT (Paramount)
A Paramount Pictures Production Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers

Could win, I guess, but I think the Black Swan will. Because I saw the Black Swan.

WINTER'S BONE (Roadside Attractions)
A Winter's Bone Production Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers

I have no idea what a Winter's Bone is. This sounds like the sort of movie in which two forty-something women stare out a window at a snow-covered patch of farmland and talk about emotional emptiness or something. Because I have no idea what it is, I say it can't win.


BEST ACTOR
JEFF BRIDGES - TRUE GRIT (Paramount)
JAVIER BARDEM - BIUTIFUL (Roadside Attractions)
JESSE EISENBERG - THE SOCIAL NETWORK (Sony Pictures)
COLIN FIRTH - THE KING’S SPEECH (The Weinstein Company)
JAMES FRANCO - 127 HOURS (Fox Searchlight)

People seem to like James Franco so I figure it's between him and Bridges. Counting against Bridges is... hasn't he won before?

BEST ACTRESS
ANNETTE BENING - THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (Focus Features)
NICOLE KIDMAN - RABBIT HOLE (Lionsgate)
JENNIFER LAWRENCE - WINTER’S BONE (Roadside Attractions)
NATALIE PORTMAN - BLACK SWAN (Fox Searchlight)
MICHELLE WILLIAMS - BLUE VALENTINE (The Weinstein Co)

Natalie Portman, I figure, because she lost a lot of weight for the role, and Oscar loves weight gain/weight loss acting.

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
CHRISTIAN BALE - THE FIGHTER (Paramount)
JOHN HAWKES - WINTER’S BONE (Roadside Attractions)
JEREMY RENNER - THE TOWN (Warner Bros)
MARK RUFFALO - THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (Focus Features)
GEOFFREY RUSH - THE KING’S SPEECH (The Weinstein Company)

I did not see any of these people in these movies. So... Um, Mark Ruffalo, because he was good in Zodiac.

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
AMY ADAMS - THE FIGHTER (Paramount)
HELENA BONHAM CARTER - THE KING’S SPEECH (The Weinstein Company)
MELISSA LEO - THE FIGHTER (Paramount)
HAILEE STEINFELD - TRUE GRIT (Paramount)
JACKI WEAVER - ANIMAL KINGDOM (Sony Pictures Classics)

This happens a lot, where the real starring actress in a movie is instead given a stealth best supporting actress nod because they don't want to give her the top acting award. In this case, that woman usually wins.

In this case, it's that little girl from True Grit, who everyone says was amazing. So, based on that, Hailee Steinfeld.

BEST ANIMATED PICTURE
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (DreamWorks Animation)
TOY STORY 3 (Walt Disney)
THE ILLUSIONIST (Sony Pictures Classics)

Toy Story 3 in a walk. I never even heard of The Illusionist and the dragon one sounds dopey.

BEST DIRECTOR
DARREN ARONOFSKY - BLACK SWAN (Fox Searchlight)
DAVID FINCHER - THE SOCIAL NETWORK (Sony Pictures)
TOM HOOPER - THE KING'S SPEECH (The Weinstein Co.)
JOEL AND ETHAN COEN - TRUE GRIT (Paramount)
DAVID O. RUSSELL - THE FIGHTER (Paramount)

Here's where they may nod to The Social Network -- Fincher's a genuine talent and they probably have the itch to recognize him for a lot of really good-looking movies that were never nominated. His directing was showy enough (he shoots Harvard as it's dark and in perpetual gloom) and uses some cool tilt-shift photography at Oxford to suggest, I don't know, something about it being a tiny world or something. Plus, the movie does flow, so that's something. I figure they give it to him.

The Coen Brothers, I guess, would be the second-most likely, because they're the Coen Brothers.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
ANOTHER YEAR, Mike Leigh (Sony Pictures Classics)
THE FIGHTER, Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson, Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson (Paramount)
INCEPTION, Christopher Nolan (Warner Bros)
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg (Focus Features)
THE KING'S SPEECH, David Seidler (The Weinstein Co)

Here's where they give the Oscar For Courage -- the Kids Are All Right.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
127 HOURS, Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy (Fox Searchlight)
TOY STORY 3, Michael Arndt, Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, and Lee Unkrich (Walt Disney)
THE SOCIAL NETWORK, Aaron Sorkin (Sony Pictures)
WINTER'S BONE, Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini (Roadside Attractions)
TRUE GRIT, Joel Coen & Ethan Coen (Paramount)

No way True Grit gets it, as, if I understand this right, they are making a big deal about adapting from the novel, not the 1969 film, but the 1969 film was very close to the novel too.

I have no idea for this one. Maybe Toy Story 3, in some kind of backdoor acknowledgement they should have taken it more seriously for Best Picture.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Algeria, Hors la Loi (Outside the Law) (Cohen Media Group) - A Tassili Films Production
Canada, Incendies (Sony Pictures Classics) - A Micro-Scope Production
Denmark, In a Better World (Sony Pictures Classics) - A Zentropa Production
Greece, Dogtooth (Kino International) - A Boo Production
Mexico, Biutiful (Roadside Attractions) - A Menage Atroz, Mod Producciones and Ikiru Films Production

I really could not possibly care less. Um, I figure they'll give it to Mexico because there are a lot of Mexicans working in the Hollywood system. Pure homer boosterism.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
Black Swan (Fox Searchlight) - Matthew Libatique
Inception (Warner Bros.) - Wally Pfister
The King's Speech (The Weinstein Company) - Danny Cohen
The Social Network (Sony Pictures Releasing) - Jeff Cronenweth
True Grit (Paramount) - Roger Deakins

Probably True Grit. Not the Black Swan, no way, it was all cramped interiors and bad lighting, which may make sense for the movie, but you don't give awards for that.

Inception could possibly win, as I have to stress, it really was a seriously good-looking movie.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Exit Through The Gift Shop (Producers Distribution Agency) A Paranoid Pictures Production Banksy and Jaimie D'Cruz
Gasland - A Gasland Production Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
Inside Job (Sony Pictures Classics) - A Representational Pictures Production Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
Restrepo (National Geographic Entertainment) - An Outpost Films Production Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
Waste Land (Arthouse Films) - An Almega Projects Production Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

I hear Restrepo is awesome. And giving the award to that is Hollywood's way of affirming they support the troops.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Killing In The Name - A Moxie Firecracker Films Production Nominees to be determined
Poster Girl - A Portrayal Films Production Nominees to be determined
Strangers No More - A Simon & Goodman Picture Company Production Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
Sun Come Up - A Sun Come Up Production Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
The Warriors Of Qiugang - A Thomas Lennon Films Production Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon

I don't care, but probably "Killing in the Name," because it's probably about extremism and/or religion or something and you can never have enough Oscars for that.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
Black Swan (Fox Searchlight) Andrew Weisblum
The Fighter (Paramount) Pamela Martin
The King's Speech (The Weinstein Company) Tariq Anwar
127 Hours (Fox Searchlight) Jon Harris
The Social Network (Sony Pictures Releasing) Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

I figure The Social Network, because there was a lot of cutting involved in making flashbacks and stuff flow and it's hard to cut dialogue sequences to make them seem interesting.

Plus, I saw it.

ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS
Alice in Wonderland (Walt Disney) - Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1 (Warner Bros.) - Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
Hereafter (Warner Bros) - Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
Inception (Warner Bros) - Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
Iron Man 2 (Paramount and Marvel Entertainment, Distributed by Paramount) - Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

Alice in Wonderland had the worst effects I've ever seen. Ugly, gray, fake and cheap looking.

Iron Man 2 was just the same stuff they did in Iron Man 1 pretty much. And the climax was again shot in darkness and again you could barely see anything. Um, why? No way this wins.

I think this one is easy: Inception. Great effects, beautiful, imaginative, and real-looking.

Again, a dumb movie, but a very good looking one.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN ART DIRECTION
Alice in Wonderland (Walt Disney) - Production Design: Robert Stromberg, Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1 (Warner Bros.) - Production Design: Stuart Craig, Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
Inception (Warner Bros) - Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas, Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
The King's Speech (The Weinstein Company) - Production Design: Eve Stewart, Set Decoration: Judy Farr
True Grit (Paramount) - Production Design: Jess Gonchor, Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh

This award favors films with a lot of art direction (made up fashions, clothes, etc.), and Hollywood has a hard-on for Tim Burton, so that seems to favor Alice in Wonderland, but seriously, was this movie not ghastly-ugly?

That was the intent? Really? To look like a bad Doctor Who episode?

I have no idea. I'll go with True Grit. It's period, it won't win many other awards, so they'll toss it this.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
Alice in Wonderland (Walt Disney) - Colleen Atwood
I Am Love (Magnolia Pictures) - Antonella Cannarozzi
The King's Speech (The Weinstein Company) - Jenny Beavan
The Tempest (Miramax) - Sandy Powell
True Grit (Paramount) - Mary Zophres

Apart from Alice's armor, I restate my opinion that Alice in Wonderland looked horrible in all ways.

No idea here. The Tempest, I guess, because that sounds like something with good costumes. I have no idea what it is, if it's the Shakespeare play or is about something entirely different.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP
Barney's Version (Sony Pictures Classics) Adrien Morot
The Way Back (Newmarket Films/Wrekin Hill Entertainment/Image Entertainment) Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
The Wolfman (Universal) Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

No idea. The Wolfman was an awful, awful movie and I do not remember "make up." I remember a bad CGI werewolf. Um, "The Way Back." Because the title sounds good.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SCORE)
How to Train Your Dragon (Paramount) - John Powell
Inception (Warner Bros.) - Hans Zimmer
The King's Speech (The Weinstein Company) - Alexandre Desplat
127 Hours (Fox Searchlight) - A.R. Rahman
The Social Network (Sony Pictures Releasing) - Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

I figure The Social Network, but I really liked Inception's music. I think Inception should win but The Social Network will win.

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SONG)
“Coming Home” from Country Strong (Sony Pictures/Screen Gems) - Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
“I See the Light” from Tangled (Walt Disney) - Music by Alan Menken, Lyric by Glenn Slater
“If I Rise” from 127 Hours (Fox Searchlight) - Music by A.R. Rahman, Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
“We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3 (Walt Disney) - Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

Randy Newman always wins. Why? I figure because it's the same fucking song every time and since it won before why shouldn't it win again?

Well, that's all I've got.

digg this
posted by Ace at 02:42 PM

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