Friday, February 25, 2011

4th Annual Oscar Picks

It's really hard for me to believe, but this is my 4th time posting my Oscar picks on this blog! I previously posted my predictions in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Feel free to catch up on all my Oscar-related glory, no glory included.

Without further ado, please read on for my never, EVER, wrong* Oscar picks!
Best Picture: If you had asked me about this category a month or two ago, I would have undoubtedly told you that "The Social Network" was going to win, and please pardon the totally called for 'duh.' Even now, there's a part of me that still thinks they could pull it off, especially knowing how many critics associations already named it the best movie of the year, as this brilliant tv spot highlights (despite the poor quality of the recording).

But "The King's Speech" has gained an immense amount of traction during the last few weeks, and as of this writing has earned top honors at the Director's Guild Awards, the Writer's Guild Awards, Producer's Guild Awards, the BAFTAs, and received more Oscar nominations than any other (12) this year. And while I would love for "The Social Network" to bag the big one this year, as I personally enjoyed it more (seriously, I would WELCOME the upset here), I feel in my gut that "The King's Speech" is more of a traditional "Oscar movie" and will therefore end up being the big winner of the night.

Best Director: This is actually one of the easier categories for me to call this year. If David Fincher didn't already have a lock on this award already, the fact that a lot of Academy voters are throwing their support behind "The King's Speech" for Best Picture will cause them to toss "The Social Network" a bone in the form of a Best Director award for Fincher. Let it be said, though, that he really did do a marvelous job directing and completely deserves the Oscar.

Best Actor: Last year's nomination for "A Single Man" got the Academy accustomed to a lovely actor audiences already knew and loved from movies like "Bridget Jones's Diary" and "Love Actually": Colin Firth. Back-to-back nominations can only help him, and there's no question that he'll be the big winner for his fine performance in "The King's Speech."

Best Actress: Finally it's time to talk about a movie other than "The King's Speech" and "The Social Network!" Natalie Portman has so much momentum at this point in the year having won most of the top honors this season, including the Golden Globe and the BAFTA, it will carry her straight to the gold for "Black Swan." Portman's second nomination will be her first win.

Supporting Actor: Oh, Christian Bale. Jack Kelly, my first movie crush. It's time. You are finally being recognized by the Academy for your brilliant, outstanding turn as nearly insane boxer Dicky Eklund in "The Fighter." Honestly though, it really is nice to see him get some love after his amazing work in such films as "The Machinist," "Rescue Dawn," and the seminal film classic, "Newsies." Slow clap.

Supporting Actress: Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away, I was ready to call Melissa Leo the winner in this category for her work in "The Fighter," no questions asked. Then she created her own "For Your Consideration" campaign ads, which she designed, photographed, and paid for on her own. And, as you can see on the right here, they are... bizarre. WHY, Melissa, WHY? If there's one thing the voters will run from, it's DESPERATION. And those ads are all anyone is talking about when her name comes up. So... is there any hope, Gandalf? Maybe, young hobbit, maybe. (Wait, what am I even talking about anymore??) I know this is getting long, but bear with me.

The point is, between shooting herself in the ever-loving foot and the potential to split the vote with another "Fighter" actor, Amy Adams, Leo is in trouble in this category. And if she truly has damaged herself enough to lose the award, expect the radiant Hailee Steinfeld of "True Grit" to sweep in and steal the gold. But as one voting executive told Entertainment Weekly, "The shallow part of me wants to hold those ads against her, but the performance is really great so I will look past it." If the other Academy members can also look past it, which I expect they will because her work really was wonderful, Melissa Leo will be this year's Best Supporing Actress winner.

Animated Feature: Last year in this category I said "The rule is typically: don’t bet against Pixar." This looks to be holding true this time around, and even though I didn't like "Toy Story 3" nearly as much as I have loved "Up" and "Wall-E" over the past few years, and there's no reason it shouldn't win. Though in a year where Pixar wasn't competing, my money would be on the delightful, thoughtful, and melancholy "The Illusionist."

Art Direction: What a rich field I have to pick from this year! Everything from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" to "Inception" and "True Grit." All of these movies, plus "The King's Speech" and even "Alice in Wonderland" looked beautiful, so I am having trouble deciding on one! In the end, though, I think it comes down to "True Grit" and "Inception," and I'm going with "Inception."

Cinematography: Another amazing category coming down to "Inception" and "True Grit," this time with "True Grit" edging out the win. I mean really; have you seen this?

Costume Design: The Academy tends to vote for big, elaborate, and over-the-top designs in this field. So no matter how much momentum "The King's Speech" has at this point, I think the final award is coming down in favor of the flashier "Alice in Wonderland."

Editing: I'm almost positive this one will be won by "The Social Network."

Makeup: Kind of a strange group of nominees this year! Just like Costume Design I think the voters will opt for anything over-the-top, so we'll go with "The Wolfman."

Original Score: I really love the music from "Inception," and even own the soundtrack- because let's face it, everyone's day could use a little more BRRRRRRRAAAAAWWWWRWRRRMRMRMMRMRMMMMM!!! (go ahead: push the button). But the score from "The Social Network" has been getting a lot of buzz and already won the Golden Globe, so there's really no reason that we shouldn't expect Nine Inch Nail's Trent Reznor will become an Academy Award winner come Sunday.

Original Song: It's tough not to go with Pixar here, especially when they are teamed with Randy Newman. However, the Academy has a history of voting more non-traditionally in this category, so I think I'm going to pick "If I Rise" from "127 Hours," likely that film's only Oscar of the evening.

Original Screenplay: Oh, hi "The King's Speech." Would you like an award? Here, have this one.

Adapted Screenplay: If there's one category I'm fairly confident in picking, it's this one, as I don't think there's any way Aaron Sorkin won't walk away a winner here for his incredibly verbal and smart "Social Network"script.

Sound Mixing: Most likely "Inception."

Sound Editing: Most likely "Inception."

Visual Effects: I would be ecstatic to be able to throw some love to Harry Potter in this category, but I'm going with the street-ripping building-flipping "Inception."

Documentary Feature: All I've been hearing about this season is "Exit Through the Gift Shop," a doc that I am looking forward to getting around to seeing... one of these days! If you don't know who Banksy, the subject of the documentary, is (cough), then do yourself a favor and click here.

Documentary Short: I just don't know WHAT to do! All the research I do in this field leads me to different titles and does nothing but confuse me. Typically though, it seems like the winner of this category tells the story of the most strife-ridden subjects, so with that in mind I think I'll pick "Killing in the Name," about a Jordan man whose wedding was attacked by a suicide bomber.

Foreign Language Film: Another tough one to call. "Incendies" from Canada looks like a heartbreaking film. But "In a Better World" tackles the difficult and, let's face it- en vogue in Hollywood at the moment- topic of bullying. "In a Better World" it is.

Animated Short: I thought "Day & Night" was one of the most creative pieces of animation I have ever seen. However, a short called "The Gruffalo" is getting a lot of buzz. It'll be one of the two, but in the end I'll stick with "The Gruffalo."

Live Action Short: I'm probably way off base here, but I just can't say no to a grant-a-kid's-dying-wish movie: "Wish 143."

*Totally wrong, like, almost all of the time.


Ginger said...

Melissa Leo... what have you done? I would much rather hear a gushing Hailee. I think you've chosen well. Go Team Val!

Anonymous said...

Have you even seen The King's Speech? Utterly fabulous...It SHOULD win many awards

Valerie said...

@Anonymous, whoever you are:

Yes, I saw "The King's Speech." I really enjoyed it! Very well made, but in this case I personally thought "The Social Network" was just a more interesting story with incredibly fascinating characters. And as I acknowledged in the post, I just happened to personally enjoy it more than TKS. Glad you thought it was utterly fabulous. :)