Saturday, December 4, 2010

Post-Black Swan Oscar Predictions

Since last updating my predictions, the first rounds of awards have come in and I've seen a few of the major frontrunners. (Of course, you can always check out the latest predictions by clicking on the Current Oscar Predictions tab.)

I hate mixing my opinion with Oscarology, but suffice it to say that The King's Speech and especially Black Swan are absolutely phenomenal films that deserve major awards consideration. (I liked 127 Hours, too, but it wasn't my favorite beyond James Franco's incredible star turn.) Regardless, here are my updated Oscar predictions.

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) Mark Ruffalo, The Kids are All Right

...yeah, I have no clue. Harris hasn't been mentioned anywhere in the early nominations and his movie is barely getting a qualifier run. Garfield is running against two other candidates from his movie who are vastly inferior and can't seem to get any buzz going. And I have no faith whatsoever in Ruffalo, but he was a better pick than any of his closest competition. The only one who could break through here would be Jeremy Renner for The Town and he'd have to be riding major pro-Town sentiment/coattails. The battle between Bale and Rush for the win, however, is probably gonna be a fierce one.

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) Hailee Stanfield, True Grit

Weaver's win at NBR signals that she'll have a good awards season. Bonham-Carter is interpreted to be the frontrunner here, but she hasn't even merited a mention anywhere yet. When you're dealing with the Golden Satellites (who nominated almost everything) and you don't get nominated for the "frontrunning" performance, there's cause for concern. I'm betting only one of the Fighter ladies gets in, simply because I'm hearing such phenomenal things about Stanfield. But as far as the winner is concerned, I really have no idea.

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

No real issues here. Everyone's either been maintaining or amassing their buzz quite well. At this point, I don't see Portman losing this. Her performance in Black Swan is nothing short of spectacular. Anyone who sees it will feel drawn to vote for it. And my bet is that a lot of people will see it.

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

All right, Duvall's on the list, but hell if I know why. His performance is said to be good, but I hear absolutely no buzz around it, so if he gets in, he's just scraping in. I just have no idea who else would go in his spot: Mark Wahlberg has no buzz, Ryan Gosling is in a movie that the Academy is going to try its damndest to ignore, Javier Bardem is in a foreign language film that doesn't appear to be trying that hard to get nominated for anything and Leonardo DiCaprio has one performance too many for consideration. Tough year here. I really only love the top three nominees, though I don't think there's any chance Firth can lose. The performance is great and he's due.

Best Director
(1) David Fincher, The Social Network
(2) Christopher Nolan, Inception
(3) Danny Boyle, 127 Hours
(4) Tom Hooper, The King's Speech
(5) Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan

The Aronofsky call might be a little ballsy, or the even more dreaded "wishful thinking", but I truly believe everyone is underestimating the impact Black Swan is going to make with Academy voters. I can't remember a movie I reacted to as much as I did with Black Swan--I laughed, I was stunned, I gasped more than I could count, I was shocked to the point where I was tearing up out of sheer amazement. If Academy voters can really overlook such a phenomenal experience (it's beyond a simple film), they'll nominate the movie for plenty of awards, including and especially this one.

Best Picture
(1) The Social Network
(2) The King's Speech
(3) 127 Hours
(4) Inception
(5) The Fighter
(6) True Grit
(7) Black Swan
(8) Toy Story 3
(9) Winter's Bone
(10) The Town

Another Year is gone simply because I think all the buzz behind that film is for Lesley Manville, not for the film on the whole. But I did something that will probably come back to haunt me later (and I hate that I'm even doing it)--I took out The Kids Are All Right in favor of The Town. I know, one film is vastly superior to the other, but the buzz around The Town isn't dying--in fact, it's growing--whereas I think the buzz for Kids besides the love for Annette Bening's performance is fading quickly. The NBR sweep for The Social Network also places it firmly on top of the standings once again. As a side note, I've now seen seven of these ten movies (still need to see The Fighter, True Grit, and Winter's Bone), and I can say that six of the seven deserve to be in the top. (The Town was a dreadful exception.) The Social Network, The King's Speech and Black Swan in particular are phenomenal films, and Toy Story 3, 127 Hours and Inception are very good as well. It's not as good as last year, but there are a few instant classics in this crop.

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