Sunday, January 23, 2011

Final Oscar Nomination Predictions Updated

We're so close to Oscar nomination morning! Only two days left. The Producers Guild of America just threw the race into a major loop with their prize going to The King's Speech, stopping The Social Network's total dominance. What will that mean on Oscar morning? Predictions updated on the tab above--read some analysis after the jump.

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

Spoiler: Winter's Bone

We're still dealing with 11 films for 10 slots. My belief is that Bone's difficulties getting nominated by guilds is going to prove fatal for its chances, but then again, 127 Hours really faltered in all the same places. However, it had all the buzz for the longest time and has the great Danny Boyle at the helm, so I feel like it has a better shot. The Town... who knows on that one. It's well-known that I personally don't like the movie, but it did well among critics and precursors, so it's probably safer than the other two on-the-edge possibilities. But I'm still not confident.

Best Director
1. David Fincher, The Social Network
2. Christopher Nolan, Inception
3. Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
4. Tom Hooper, The King's Speech
5. David O. Russell, The Fighter

Spoiler: Debra Granik, Winter's Bone

Maybe this is a more volatile race than I think it is (for example, can Danny Boyle or the Coen Brothers break through?), but this is the Directors Guild of America list and it appears to be the right list to me.

Best Actress
1. Natalie Portman, Black Swan
2. Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
3. Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
4. Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
5. Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

Spoiler: Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit

Scott Rudin insisting on running Steinfeld as a supporting actress is stupidity. There's really only four actresses that are locks in this category, while there are six "locks" in the Supporting Actress category. If they just flipped her placement, all would be right with the world. But I think they're gonna miss her entirely due to category fraud confusion. She could still conceivably spoil in either race, especially here, since Williams is so vulnerable for a film I'm betting few in the Academy have bothered to see.

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. Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter

Spoiler: Javier Bardem, Biutiful

Argh, that fifth spot! I keep switching between four men: the stoic but powerful Wahlberg, who might have had a better chance if Christian Bale's acceptance speech at the Golden Globes had aired before balloting was over, the heartbreaking Bardem, the veteran Robert Duvall and the great Ryan Gosling. I could see being 3/5 here--Bridges' nomination isn't completely set in stone, and they could go for Duvall over him and one of the others over Wahlberg. But I think the Academy is gonna go nuts for The Fighter and nominate its lead as part of the parade. 

Best Supporting Actor
1. Christian Bale, The Fighter
2. Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech
3. Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
4. Jeremy Renner, The Town
5. Mark Ruffalo, The Kids are All Right
Spoiler: John Hawkes, Winter's Bone

Well, what to make of this race? There are three incredibly shaky bets (Garfield, who missed the SAG nomination, Renner, who has been hit and miss so far this season, and Ruffalo, who precursors forgot every once in a while) and one critical favorite who could sneak in over any of them. My bet is that Ruffalo is the most vulnerable--he's just way too easily forgotten.

Best Supporting Actress
1. Amy Adams, The Fighter
2. Melissa Leo, The Fighter
3. Helena Bonham-Carter, The King’s Speech
4. Mila Kunis, Black Swan
5. Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

Spoiler: Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit

It's beginning to look a lot like 2009. Check it out: two nominees for the same crowd-pleasing likely Best Picture nominee (Adams and Leo instead of Kendrick and Farmiga), a longtime favorite actress in Hollywood (Bonham-Carter over Cruz), a love interest riding the coattails of a powerful lead performance (Kunis over Gyllenhaal), and a monster mom who steals her movie (Weaver over Mo'Nique). Again, Steinfeld could interrupt by spoiling here.

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

Spoiler: Somewhere

...I...think this is right? I guess? Maybe? I'm really not sure in the screenplay categories, honestly. This looks right enough.

Best Original Screenplay
1. The King’s Speech
2. The Kids Are All Right
3. Inception
4. Black Swan
5. The Fighter

Spoiler: Another Year

Well, aren't my choices Best Picture-y? The truth is that Best Original Screenplay usually yields the surprises, but last year featured four Best Picture nominees. So I'm not too worried about these picks.

Any thoughts as we head into the biggest morning of the cinematic year? Any surprises you're betting on? Where do you think Hailee Steinfeld will land, if she lands at all? Leave any thoughts in the comments!

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