Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Oscars Aren't Pro-Tyler Perry

Another Oscar predictions post only two weeks after the first? What's the rush?

Admittedly, this is a little too soon for me to update again, but I'm realizing I made a few key errors in my first predictions that need to get fixed. Also, I want to analyze some fringe candidates that could break through and all the different strange occurrences that could come about under the right circumstances.

The screenplay categories haven't shifted, so if you want to see my thoughts on those, you can find them here. (And check out the new countdown widget to the right! Brought to you by Nathaniel Rogers at The Film Experience.)

Best Animated Feature
(1) Toy Story 3
(2) How to Train Your Dragon
(3) Tangled

Not enough qualifiers this year to allow for five nominees, unfortunately, so despite a strong year for animation overall (though not better than last year, which was truly a fantastic year where even five nominees wasn't enough), we've got to find only three films to get nominated. I don't have a whole lot of faith in Tangled, but I'm also unsure the very unseen The Illusionist can pull a Persepolis and get nominated--after all, Waltz with Bashir couldn't pull off a nomination in this category, and that film was incredibly well-received. A friend of mine posited the theory today that How to Train Your Dragon wins Best Animated Feature, and honestly, I don't think that's impossible. Toy Story 3 is a brilliant part of a set, but it is not a brilliant movie independent of the other movies in the trilogy. How to Train Your Dragon has the originality factor. It also, quite unfortunately, has an awful moniker that no one likes to say. (Even advertisements referred to it as Dragons, which, though a nondescript title itself is much better than the wordy How to Train Your Dragon.) A title isn't everything, and certainly films have won with bad titles before (The Hurt Locker), but Toy Story 3 has a title that represents 15 years of amazing filmmaking. That certainly won't be overlooked.

Best Supporting Actor
(1) Christian Bale, The Fighter
(2) Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech
(3) Ed Harris, The Way Back
(4) Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
(5) Josh Brolin, True Grit

I'm reordering things here, but the big stories are the bottom two: Garfield and Brolin. They both come from movies with multiple Best Supporting Actor contenders, and could theoretically split the vote. I'm especially worried about Garfield--I warned that if the buzz didn't sustain for The Social Network it would have an impact, and I'm not hearing much about it right now. I could see Garfield not getting nominated. I feel like the real pushes right now are for his costars, Justin Timberlake and Armie Hammer. Similarly, I feel like Brolin is getting pushed aside a bit for Matt Damon in the media right now. I might be calling this one wrong on both counts, but I feel like this is a fairly steady pool.

Best Supporting Actress
(1) Helena Bonham-Carter, The King's Speech
(2) Melissa Leo, The Fighter
(3) Dianne Wiest, Rabbit Hole
(4) Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom
(5) Amy Adams, The Fighter

I have nothing to say about this category right now, really, besides that if Weaver can snag a nomination, I'm pretty confident she'll win. But getting the nomination is the bigger battle.

Best Actress
(1) Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
(2) Natalie Portman, Black Swan
(3) Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone
(4) Lesley Manville, Another Year
(5) Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole

I almost put Halle Berry for Frankie and Alice in here instead of Kidman, but Rabbit Hole has been surprisingly good at sustaining its buzz so far. And Berry's film may not be that good. However, I do think in this very lily-white year for the acting categories, an African-American actress has a real shot. I just don't think this is the category, considering how packed it is. However, if Manville winds up in the supporting race (a race she'll surely win), Berry will likely take her spot.

Best Actor
(1) Colin Firth, The King's Speech
(2) James Franco, 127 Hours
(3) Jeff Bridges, True Grit
(4) Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter
(5) Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network

I keep hearing that others are dropping Wahlberg for Robert Duvall in Get Low. I had to look up that movie to remember what it was. That film is such a non-factor it's not even funny. Duvall can't get nominated for a movie no one is talking about. Unless Eisenberg and Wahlberg prove to be incredibly weak, Duvall can't sneak in here.

Best Director
(1) Christopher Nolan, Inception
(2) David Fincher, The Social Network
(3) Danny Boyle, 127 Hours
(4) Tom Hooper, The King's Speech
(5) Mike Leigh, Another Year

Everything's the same here, except I removed David O'Russell for The Fighter in favor of Leigh. Just a hunch.

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

For Colored Girls got creamed in the early reviews, so it's out. Another Year is in, but I don't have half the confidence in it everyone else seems to have. About that top five... it would fit that, like last year, the "real five" have all their directors nominated for Best Director, no? So why don't I have the Coens, known favorites of the Academy, getting nominated? Well, they won four years ago, for one. Director teams are pretty kitschy and aren't going to be rewarded that often. For another, I'm wondering exactly how beloved True Grit is going to be in most areas outside of Picture, Actor, Supporting Actor and Adapted Screenplay considering it's a remake. I think it'll do well--I just don't think it'll win anything big or get nominated for something like Director.

What are your thoughts? Not a whole lot has changed, I know, but do you agree with my small alterations? I'll be getting into more in-depth analysis later on of below-the-line categories, but what do you think of Best Animated Feature? Do you agree True Grit might be getting overhyped? Let me know what you think in the comments!

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