Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's a wonderful night for Oscar... Oscar, Oscar... 2010?

Oh, someone's going to KILL me if they find out I'm posting this here! Sorry it's so late folks; I know how you've come to rely on me for Oscar predictions, so here goes... it's a bit of a hasty cut 'n paste job, and my Hyperlink maven's taken a leave of absence. Do what you can w/it.

Welp, the Oscars are this weekend and it's time to call another horse race using only my wits and my numbering system. Who will win big this year: classy Brits or greedy internet nerds? The best way to judge seems to be by tracking the Golden Globes, but I think the Facebook movie will get all the big important awards, like Best Picture and Director, while The King's Speech will get the acting awards, set design, and all those type awards, with True Grit and the others cleaning up like hyenas after the lions have taken the lions' share. For full disclosure, I do have a Coen brothers bias which will be reflected in my numbering system. The way I pick now is to assign a number to each: 1 being least likely to win, and 3, 4, 5 or even 10 for most likely. Ten best pics now! Just like in the 30s and 40s.

But let's break down these award bad boys one at a time. It's a long ceremony, deserving of a long critique. For Best Animated Feature, ever since Shrek, the rule is: Pixar wins. Always. Except for 'Spirited Away' in 2002, it's Pixar, followed by DreamWorks. That it's Toy Story 3, and the end of a trilogy, well, that's mere icing on the cake. Oh, the Simpsons can poke all the fun they want (Condiments!! LOL), but it's still the law of the land. Okay, next category.

Best Foreign Language Film: Biutiful's got the most buzz, and Javier Bardem's finally disassociated in the American mind from his role in No Country for Old Men, but In a Better World's got the most upbeat title, and seeing as how most of the Oscar voting block doesn't have time to see every film, that's generally how they'll pick it. In a Better World edges out Biutiful, but it's close.

Best Feature Doc: Lotta cool titles this year: GasLand, Waste Land, Restrepo... but everyone's got Banksy fever for some reason, so it's Exit Through the Gift Shop... real cool title!

Best Short Documentary: Another tough call, but I'm thinking Strangers No More's going to take the gold. If only Obama and his Republicans could say as much.

Best Short Live Action Film: I'm changing my mind from God of Love to Wish 143. I mean, what IS wish 143? Probably has something to do with a prison. The title would be better suited to a documentary, ultimately.

Best Animated Short Subject: Madagascar, a Journey Diary, because the Oscar voting block is going to think it has something to do with DreamWorks' Madagascar franchise, and really, who amongst us wants to piss off Spielberg? Besides, Gruffalo's already got a Best Supporting Actor nod this year! No double dipping!!!

Best original score: I'm giving Inception a 1, my lowest score. I saw Inception in the theater, and while it was a movie with many fine attributes, the music was not one of them. Too similar to Nolan's The Dark Knight; kind of the same pulsing Bruckheimer-esque music going back to The Rock. To award it an Oscar is to set a dangerous precedent. I'm thinking The King's Speech has got the kind of music the Academy's looking for: regal, dignified, and insufferably British. What, is Carter Burwell chopped liver?

Original Song: As usual, it's another group of instantly forgettable songs... and they can't even cobble together five anymore! Randy Newman's already won his Pixar Oscar, so they'll probably give it to Tangled. ANYBODY but Country Strong, for God's sake, IMHO.

Makeup: Probably The Wolfman, and I know what you're thinking. I'm thinking it, too: does Rick Baker really need another Oscar? The dude's already got six!

Visual Effects: Well, Oscar seems to have it in for Harry Potter. They'll probably wait for the last film to lavish HP with Oscar gold; as long as it does well at the box office, so I'm thinking Alice in Wonderland will take it.

Sound Editing: Probably Inception, with True Grit a close second. With all these editing awards, it seems like the longest film usually wins.

Best Editing: It'll be a close tie between The King's Speech and The Social Network, but I'm thinking Social Network. Both films are the same length, but Social Network probably represented longer hours at the Avid: a true reflection of our ADD-afflicted modern age.

Best Sound Mixing: The King's Speech. And how perfect would that be? Sound mixing is practically what the film's about!

Costume Design: Will Sandy Powell win her fourth Oscar, or will Coleen Atwood (a Yakima native!) win her third? Can't Mary Zophres win her first? No. The stakes are just that high. Alice in Wonderland will probably take it.

Art Direction: Again, Harry Potter will get dissed, but does Stuart Craig really need that fourth Oscar? Yes he does. He has yet to get that first Harry Potter Oscar. There's a big difference, but he'll have to hold his breath for a while. Alice in Wonderland takes it.

Cinematography: Cinematography is an art in trouble, which is ironic, seeing as how 3D's just starting to take off. But between the double punch in the gut from the CGI revolution and the streaky, digital videotape revolution, what's the point in an award for it anymore? Let me put it this way: we're back to ten Best Picture nominees, but they're not bringing back the division between best color and best black and white cinematography. Anyway, Roger Deakins will probably get dissed for the ninth time (it's a union thing) and the statuette will go to... let's say, Black Swan. That whole following-the-person-around-and-we-only-see-the-back-of-their-head thing: that's kinda new! Even though it was in The Wrestler as well...

Adapted Screenplay: Danny Boyle's getting some freebies this year because of Slumdog Millionaire, but word on the street is The Social Network gets it, mostly because Aaron Sorkin didn't have any of the characters say that they're never ever sick at sea.

Original Screenplay: Probably The King's Speech. Do NOT give it to The Fighter! (Don't worry, Oscar won't...)

Director: Well, it's a tough year, but I'm going to say that David Fincher will finally win the Oscar he should've gotten for... let's say, Fight Club.

Supporting Actress: Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit. No question.

Supporting Actor: Kind of a meager field this year. Jeremy Renner gets a freebie for last year, and why not, damn it? So I'm going to go with Geoffrey Rush just because I like him. Remember Mystery Men? Quills? He did a mean James Woods impression in House on Haunted Hill!

Actress: Well, despite her new movie, No Strings Attached, there's no reason to think that Natalie Portman's momentum has lessened. She'll take the gold.

Actor: I'm sure Jesse Eisenberg's probably a nice person... okay, maybe not, but he's got the snowball's chance. Colin Firth will win, but it's the Oscar he should've gotten for A Single Man... I guess. Still, Tom Hanks won two years in a row... Katharine Hepburn won two years in a row, why not the Dude?

And finally, Best Picture: I'll stick with Social Network, because I like what one of the other critics said: it'll win because it plays into everyone's current dream of becoming a billionaire. But I do have an appreciation for Wayne and Garth's reasoning for Winter's Bone as well. It's also California State Law that the Best Director and Picture Oscars be the same, and it is broken at somebody's peril. Between True Grit and The Social Network, Scott Rudin's got his bases covered. Hollywood begrudgingly accepts that. He's the new Weinsteins all in one!

Well, that's about it for me. Better get back to the ol' thesis. Wish my predictions luck!!

Best Motion Picture of the Year
2 127 Hours
6 Black Swan
1 The Fighter
7 Inception
5 The Kids Are All Right
8 The King's Speech
10 The Social Network
4 Toy Story 3
9 True Grit
3 Winter's Bone

Best Actor
3 Biutiful
4 True Grit
1 The Social Network
5 The King's Speech
2 127 Hours

Best Actress
4 Annette Bening
3 Nicole Kidman
1 Jennifer Lawrence
5 Natalie Portman
2 Michelle Williams

Best Supporting Actor
4 Christian Bale
1 John Hawkes
3 Jeremy Renner
2 Mark Ruffalo
5 Geoffrey Rush

Best Supporting Actress
3 Amy Adams
4 Helena Bonham Carter
2 Melissa Leo
5 Hailee Steinfeld
1 Jacki Weaver

Best Director
3 Darren Aronofsky
4 Coens
5 David Fincher
2 Tom Hooper
1 David O. Russell

Best Original Screenplay
1 Mike Leigh
4 The Fighter
2 Inception
3 The Kids Are All Right
5 The King's Speech

Best Adapted Screenplay
2 127 Hours
5 The Social Network
3 Toy Story 3
4 True Grit
1 Winter's Bone

Best Cinematography
5 Black Swan
1 Inception
2 The King's Speech
3 The Social Network
4 True Grit

Best Art Direction
5 Alice in Wonderland
3 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
1 Inception
2 The King's Speech
4 True Grit

Best Costume Design
5 Alice in Wonderland
1 I Am Love
3 The King's Speech
2 The Tempest
4 True Grit

Best Sound Mixing
2 Inception
5 The King's Speech
3 Salt
1 The Social Network
4 True Grit

Best Editing
3 127 Hours
2 Black Swan
1 The Fighter
4 The King's Speech
5 The Social Network

Sound Editing
5 Inception
2 Toy Story 3
1 Tron: Legacy
4 True Grit
3 Unstoppable

Visual Effects
5 Alice in Wonderland
3 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
1 Hereafter
2 Inception
4 Iron Man 2

2 Barney's Version
1 The Way Back
3 The Wolfman

Original Song
1 127 Hours
3 Country Strong
4 Tangled
2 Toy Story 3

Original Score
2 127 Hours
3 How to Train Your Dragon
1 Inception
5 The King's Speech
4 The Social Network

Best Short Animated Film
1 Day & Night
2 The Gruffalo
3 Let's Pollute
4 The Lost Thing
5 Madagascar, a Journey Diary

Best Short Live Action Film
2 The Confession
1 The Crush
3 God of Love
4 Na Wewe
5 Wish 143

Best Short Documentary
1 Killing in the Name
3 Poster Girl
5 Strangers No More
2 Sun Come Up
4 The Warriors of Qiugang

Best Feature Doc
5 Exit Through the Gift Shop
3 GasLand
1 Inside Job
2 Restrepo
4 Waste Land

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
4 Biutiful
3 Dogtooth
5 In a Better World
2 Incendies
1 Outside the Law

Best Animated Feature Film
2 How to Train Your Dragon
1 The Illusionist
3 Toy Story 3

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