Oscar Moment: November Predictions!

1 11 2010

Folks, it’s time for a new set of predictions.  A lot has changed in the last two months since I issued a set of predictions.  Just a month away from the start of the horse race, I thought now would be a good time to step back and reevaluate.

(NOTE: I’m restructuring the change in position system from 2009.  The symbols stay the same, but listed in parentheses to the right is the previous position.)

Best Picture

  1. The Social Network 
  2. The King’s Speech  (NR)
  3. 127 Hours  (10)
  4. True Grit  (NR)
  5. Toy Story 3  (3)
  6. Inception 
  7. The Fighter  (2)
  8. The Kids Are All Right 
  9. Black Swan  (5)
  10. How Do You Know  (NR)

Dropping off: Another Year, Never Let Me Go, Blue Valentine

I‘m still feeling confident forecasting a win for “The Social Network.”  It has audiences and critics behind it; with enough precursor love, it could be an unstoppable force.  “True Grit” and “The Fighter” remain strong possibilities even unseen, although I’m sensing less excitement for the latter.  “Toy Story 3” hasn’t dropped; two contenders have just risen above it.  Given a push, it could still make a run for the money.  And “How Do You Know” is still unseen, but I’m getting good vibes.  Probably stupid to put it on my list instead of “Another Year,” but I’m going gutsy.

Right now, my biggest comment is that the race feels really stagnant.  It’s too early for the race to boil down to “The Social Network” vs. “The King’s Speech.”  The enthusiasm has kind of died for any movie, although that could easily change with this week’s release of “127 Hours.”  It’s just kind of been a dead zone for Best Picture buzz recently … which is a huge bummer.

Best Director

  1. David Fincher, “The Social Network” 
  2. Tom Hooper, “The King’s Speech”  (NR)
  3. Christopher Nolan, “Inception”
  4. Darren Aronofsky, “Black Swan”  (5)
  5. Danny Boyle, “127 Hours”  (NR)

Dropping off: Mike Leigh, David O. Russell

Same story between “Network” and “Speech” with the two battling out for the top spot.  I’m hesitant to say that two of the past three winners in this category could be nominated again this year, so I’ll pick Danny Boyle seeing as his movie is the safer bet at the moment.

I feel like this category will recognize visionaries this year.  This is only a hunch, of course, but I feel like directors such as Nolan are Aronofsky will get their just reward for creating pieces of art that don’t mold to any sort of convention.  Nolan has first priority of the two seeing as he was snubbed in 2008 and his movie will fare better with the Academy.  “Black Swan” is a risky movie and one that doesn’t align very well with Academy tastes.  An Aronofsky nomination means true progress.

Best Actor

  1. James Franco, “127 Hours”  (3)
  2. Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech”  (NR)
  3. Jesse Eisenberg, “The Social Network”  (2)
  4. Mark Wahlberg, “The Fighter”  (1)
  5. Ryan Gosling, “Blue Valentine” 

Dropping off: Robert Duvall

I’m sensing the “127 Hours” reward will come in Best Actor for James Franco.  At 32, he’d be among the youngest winners ever, and his status as an elite dramatic actor would be forever cemented.  I see him as being the critics’ circle darling, putting him in prime position from the beginning of the season.  However, there will be stiff competition from Colin Firth, who has the subjective “deserving” card in his hand after losing last year for his performance in “A Single Man.”

Eisenberg drops a slot because the choice youth performance is going to be from Franco, and Wahlberg plummets thanks to the buzz being squarely in the ring of Bale and Leo, his supporting cast.  Nonetheless, I think the preparation he put into this role will pay off with a nomination.  I think Ryan Gosling will be nominated for “Blue Valentine” over, say Robert Duvall for “Get Low” or Jeff Bridges for “True Grit,” because the NC-17 rated domestic drama may be too intense for Best Picture, but the actors will love it and reward it here.

Best Actress

  1. Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”  (2)
  2. Annette Bening, “The Kids Are All Right”  (1)
  3. Nicole Kidman, “Rabbit Hole”  (NR)
  4. Lesley Manville, “Another Year”  (NR)
  5. Michelle Williams, “Blue Valentine”  (4)

Dropping off: Jennifer Lawrence, Julianne Moore

Focus needs to get their act together and figure out how to campaign Bening and Moore.  Amidst the controversy, I think Portman has emerged all the stronger, and she is now my pick to win in the seemingly two-way battle for supremacy.

Nicole Kidman moves onto the list after her performance in “Rabbit Hole” garnered significant buzz, and Manville as well because I think “Another Year” has to have at least one acting nomination.  And for the exact same reason I predicted Ryan Gosling to get a Best Actor nomination, I predict Michelle Williams to get a Best Actress nomination for “Blue Valentine” to reward the movie’s true grit.  However, the tragic romance could go the way of “Revolutionary Road” and leave the leads out in the cold.

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Christian Bale, “The Fighter” 
  2. Geoffrey Rush, “The King’s Speech”  (NR)
  3. Andrew Garfield, “The Social Network” 
  4. Aaron Eckhart, “Rabbit Hole”  (NR)
  5. Sam Rockwell, “Conviction”  (2)

Dropping off: Vincent Cassel, Mark Ruffalo

Could there be anything more boring than the supporting categories this year?  Yawn.

Sight unseen, I still think Bale is the man to beat in this category.  Got any better suggestions?  Rush has won before, yet he will still prove to be a big threat given he lights the movie on fire.  Garfield is young and unknown, but he is incredible in the role.  He could move up to the top if there turns out to be a tidal wave of support for “The Social Network.”

I get a good feeling about Aaron Eckhart for “Rabbit Hole.”  He’s a great actor, and he works alongside Kidman who is a very good bet for a Best Actress nomination. There’s always that movie with a ton of acting nominations, and I get a feeling it could be “Rabbit Hole.”  As for Sam Rockwell, I still feel a nomination is a good possibility, but a win seems pretty tough with the general lack of enthusiasm for “Conviction.”

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Melissa Leo, “The Fighter”  (2)
  2. Miranda Richardson, “Made in Dagenham”  (NR)
  3. Hailee Steinfeld, “True Grit”  (4)
  4. Dianne Wiest, “Rabbit Hole”  (NR)
  5. Helena Bonham Carter, “The King’s Speech”  (NR)

Dropping off: Keira Knightley, Barbara Hershey, Marion Cotillard

Another win for “The Fighter” sight unseen, this time for 2008 Best Actress nominee Melissa Leo.  You got any better ideas?  This category is still wide open with a month left until the critics’ groups for the field for us, and that’s no fun.

Miranda Richardson’s spunky turn in “Made in Dagenham” seems to be getting a lot of buzz, thus it’s in at this point.  “True Grit” hasn’t been seen, but Hailee Steinfeld sure looks impressive from the trailer, so she’s in.  Dianne Weist got the critics talking about her work in “Rabbit Hole,” and she’s won twice before, so she’s in.  Helena Bonham Carter is in a strong Best Picture contender, so she’s in.  See how flimsy my logic is?  No one has a clue what to expect in this race.

I lied when I said there would be screenplays in this set of predictions.  For the wins, I’d say “The King’s Speech” and “The Social Network” for original and adapted, respectively.

So, how do you feel?  What Oscar nominations do YOU foresee?


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6 responses

3 11 2010
Whiffer

And there haven’t even been nominations yet! This is amazing!

3 11 2010
Marshall

Well, it sure wouldn’t make much sense to predict after the nominations!

3 11 2010
Danny King

I’m staring to feel lukewarm about “Another Year’s” chances in Best Picture as well.

4 11 2010
Andrew

I’d count Black Swan and True Grit as pretty beefy contenders for anything they’re nominated for. Basically, whatever other movies wind up in the Best Picture category, it’s a four-way brawl between The Social Network, Inception, Black Swan, and True Grit.

But Inception might be this year’s Avatar (strictly in terms of its mainstream visibility and popularity), and if so then I wouldn’t be surprised to see Nolan clean house. That said I’d be happier to see Aronofsky get some love.

4 11 2010
Open Bar: November 4, 2010 — ANOMALOUS MATERIAL

[…] Marshall makes his Oscar predictions (Marshall and the Movies) […]

5 11 2010
Univarn

The race I’m most psyched for this year is Best Director. You have a lot of directors who have been very good for a long time all coming into their own right now, all with potential big Oscar films converging. It’ll be interesting to see which one of them, if any of them, finally takes home the Oscar they’ve so earned.

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