Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Oscar nominations reactions/early predictions


The nominations are out - and I'm out of patience with the Academy regarding Christopher Nolan. The dream is collapsing indeed. But I'll get back to that in a little bit here.
BEST PICTURE 
127 Hours
Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone
I took The Town, the Academy took the overpraised Winter's Bone. I was rather surprised to see The Town get completely blanked. Ultimately, though, I see this as a race between The Social Network and the King's Speech - and I give the tip to the latter. Both films are smart and funny. But as all David Fincher films are, Social Network is a bit clinical (that's not a bad thing, but it's not everyone's cup of tea.) The King's Speech is triumphant and heartwarming. When you have a brain vs. heart race like that, heart wins almost every time. See Forrest Gump vs. Pulp Fiction. See Titanic vs. LA Confidential. See How Green Was My Valley vs. Citizen Kane, etc. etc. 
BEST ACTOR
Javier Bardem, Biutiful
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours
Missed Bardem vs. Duvall, but I thought it might happen. I think this one is pretty clearly Firth's, although Franco could upset.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christian Bale, The Fighter
John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech
Bale's to lose. I think people are ready to forgive him. But if they're not, Ruffalo might be a good alternative. He's overdue. I didn't see Hawkes getting in, maybe partly because his performance just didn't stand out to me. The snubbed Andrew Garfield would have been a better choice. 
BEST ACTRESS
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine
I like Annette Bening a lot. She's overdue for a win. But Julianne Moore was even better in the same film - and Natalie Portman was better than both of them. That's the performance of the year in ANY category.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom
Of course, I would be delighted to see my beloved Amy win here, but I don't think that's happening. If one of the Fighter women leads, it will be Leo - but if the Fighter ladies split the vote, then Steinfeld has a shot at winning. So does Bonham Carter. So does Jacki Weaver. Toughest race to call, but for now I go for Steinfeld, who has a bit of an unfair advantage - she's actually THE lead of her film - even moreso than Jeff Bridges. 
BEST ANIMATED FILM
How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3
The Toys, obviously. But I do feel a little sorry for Disney's Tangled missing the mark, even if I think the film is a bit overrated. I thought the previous film by the director of The Illusionist, called The Triplets of Belleville, was overrated as well.
BEST ART DIRECTION
Alice in Wonderland, Robert Stromberg, Karen O’Hara
Happy Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1, Stuart Craig, Stephenie McMillan
Inception, Guy Hendrix Dyas, Larry Dias, Doug Mowat
The King’s Speech, Eve Stewart, Judy Farr
True Grit, Jess Gonchor, Nancy Haigh
Art direction (the designing of dreams) figured heavily in Inception's plot. It wins easily. But I was saddened to see Shutter Island miss out here. I know the film divided people, but if you tell me it's not technically accomplished, you're as full of it as the Academy was when they passed over Nolan. 
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Black Swan, Matthew Libatique
Inception, Wally Pfister
The King’s Speech, Danny Cohen
The Social Network, Jeff Cronenweth
True Grit, Roger Deakins
I think (hope) this goes to Deakins. It fills two needs common in this category. Reward the long overdue master, and vote for pretty outdoor photography. 
BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Alice in Wonderland, Colleen Atwood
I Am Love, Antonella Cannarozzi
The King’s Speech, Jenny Beaven
The Tempest, Sandy Powell
True Grit, Mary Zophres
I'm glad to see the long overdue Zophres get a nomination, but this award usually goes to the most elaborate frilly costumes. That's probably Alice in Wonderland, which was well dressed even if it was Tim Burton's worst film. 
BEST DIRECTOR
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
Joel & Ethan Coen, True Grit
David Fincher, The Social Network
Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
David O. Russell, The Fighter 

So your  big hit acclaimed film called The Dark Knight doesn't get nominated and neither do you as director. Everyone complains. So the Academy changes its rules to allow for 10 picture nominees. Then your film gets nominated,  but you still don't. So I guess for Christopher Nolan to be nominated, there will have to be 10 directors, right? SIGH. Robbery, plain and simple. But the winner here is usually an auteur type - so even if King's Speech wins Best Picture, Fincher will win Best Director. 
BEST DOCUMENTARY
Exit Through the Gift Shop, Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz
Gasland, Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
Inside Job, Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
Restrepo, Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
Waste Land, Lucy Walker and Angus Aynley
The excellent Inside Job is the favorite here. But what I really want to know is, will Banksy show up at the ceremony? Uuuhhh .... (inside joke) 
BEST EDITING
127 Hours, Jon Harris
Black Swan, Andrew Weisblum
The Fighter, Pamela Martin
The King’s Speech, Tariq Anwar
The Social Network, Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter
Inception's snub here pisses me off even more than Nolan's. It makes absolutely no sense. Editing is crucial to the success of that film. Even people underwhelmed by the film agree that it's well edited. And Lee Fisher, Nolan's regular editor, WAS nominated for The Dark Knight, which is less well edited than Inception. I just don't get it. This is, without a doubt, the worst technical snub since The Red Shoes wasn't nominated for cinematography. 
All that said, The Social Network is the clear victor here, with the way it jumps back and forth in time, and maintains a gripping rhythm to go with Sorkin's rat-a-tat dialogue. 
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Hors la Loi (Outside the Law) (Algeria)
Incendies (Canada)
In a Better World (Denmark)
Dogtooth (Greece)
Biutiful (Mexico)
Not really sure. I'll guess Biutiful, since it's got one other nomination. 
BEST MAKEUP
Barney’s Version, Adrien Morot
The Way Back, Eduoard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk, Yolanda Toussieng
The Wolfman, Rick Baker and Dave Elsey
Chalk up another win for makeup master Rick Baker. 

BEST SCORE
127 Hours, A.R. Rahman
How to Train Your Dragon, John Powell
Inception, Hans Zimmer
The King’s Speech, Alexandre Desplat
The Social Network, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
I am DELIGHTED the music branch grew a spine and nominated The Social Network's score. It could very well win, but I'm guessing the (somewhat) more traditional Inception gets it here.
BEST SONG
“Coming Home,” Country Strong, Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
“I See the Light,” Tangled, Alan Menken, Glenn Slater
“If I Rise,” 127 Hours, A.R. Rahman, Dido, Rollo Armstrong
“We Belong Together,” Toy Story 3, Randy Newman
A VERY underwhelming group. Hard to guess. I'd say either the Toy Story 3 tune or the one from 127 Hours. 
BEST ANIMATED SHORT
Day & Night, Teddy Newton
The Gruffalo, Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
Let’s Pollute, Geefwee Boedoe
The Lost Thing, Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
Madagascar, Carnet de Voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary), Bastien Dubois
Haven't seen the others; but Day & Night is my favorite of all of Pixar's shorts. Brilliant, funny and touching. 
BEST SOUND EDITING
Inception, Richard King
Toy Story 3, Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
TRON: Legacy, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
True Grit, Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
Unstoppable, Mark P. Stoeckinger
BEST SOUND MIXING
Inception, Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo, and Ed Novick
The King’s Speech, Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen, and John Midgley
Salt, Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan, and William Sarokin
The Social Network, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick, and Mark Weingarten
True Grit, Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff, and Peter F. Kurland
Probably Inception for both of these. 
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Alice in Wonderland, Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1, Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
Hereafter, Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
Inception, Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
Iron Man 2, Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick
Inception, clearly. And I'm glad to see that Chris Corbould, who did an amazing job with the on-set practical effects, will be one of the winners. And by the way, I would have much rather seen Scott Pilgrim vs. the World nominated than Hereafter.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Another Year, written by Mike Leigh
The Fighter, Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson; 
Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
Inception, written by Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right, written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
The King’s Speech, Screenplay by David Seidler
A win for Inception to make up for the Nolan's directing snub isn't out of the question, but The King's Speech is still the likely victor here. And I'm fine with that. 
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
127 Hours, Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
The Social Network, Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3, Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
True Grit, written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Winter’s Bone, adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini
The award should have Sorkin's name on it already. If I were one of the other nominees, I wouldn't even bother showing up. Easiest call of the night. 
Agree/disagree?




1 comment:

Allison M. Dickson said...

Hey, what about Best Score?

BTW, I agree with your predictions. I do overall like the competitive feel of some of these races, because there are a few that really are hard to call or could be surprises. Looking forward to following along with the live Facebooking/Tweeting!