Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Tuesday Top Ten: Super Early Oscar Predictions

for the listmaker in me and the list lover in you.

Ten Things That Make Early Oscar Predictions Difficult
If you're super impatient you can move on to the actual predictions

10 IMDB doesn't always list complete credits for a film... even when it looks like they do. For instance, in some cases you can't tell who shot a particular movie or who scored it, or who did the costumes. Who did what is important since there are Meryls and Denzels amongst the technical crowd, too, you know --nomination magnets, as it were.

09 Not knowing which companies will be releasing certain films is difficult. Films that look great on paper that have undefined (or unshared) distribution plans include presumable actor showcases like biopics Grey Gardens and The Young Victoria as well as marital dramas like Richard Eyre's The Other Man and Jim Sheridan's remake of the Danish film Brothers. Who pushes which movie matters. Not all distributors are created equal. At least not where Oscar is concerned.

08 Stephen Daldry has thrilled Oscar voters twice before with Billy Elliott and The Hours. His new film The Reader has a WW II backstory --something that often lights AMPAS's collective fire. But will he finish it in time? The Hours was delayed by a year and this new movie also lost its producer Anthony Minghella (RIP).

07 The Weinsteins have what looks like a great slate this year. Vicky Christina Barcelona, The Reader, The Brothers Bloom. But they've been bad at courting Oscar lately? And even if Vicky is good Woody Allen and even if Cruz is great (in what sounds like a fun if typically misogynist Allen-written role) and even if they figure out how to sell it, is Oscar over Woody Allen?

06 No matter how good you are at Oscar predicting, no matter how much research you do, you're never going to see the Junos coming... those little non-baity films that turn miraculously into behemoths.

05 The supporting categories. They're usually foggy until very late in the year. A lot of early buzz only focuses on lead performers and general plotlines. Those with smaller roles have to prove themselves when the picture opens.

image from AnneHathawayFan.com

04 My general theory is that for the early bird predictions, you let yourself have some optimism regarding personal pets/dreams. Letting personal feelings interfere is a no-no later on when the race clears up. But for how I'm wanting to (and so I will) assume that Dancing With Shiva will mark a dramedic return to form for Jonathan Demme (Married to the Mob, Silence of the Lambs) and that Anne Hathaway who has been the good ignored soldier for two Oscar seasons supporting co-stars who were nominated (Brokeback Mountain and The Devil Wears Prada) might get her due. Why not? Nobody knows anything yet. I'm still deciding.

03 Clint Eastwood, who loves making movies quickly almost as much as he loves winning Oscars, has a movie for November (Changeling) and December (Gran Turino). There are many rumors about Gran Turino (the strangest of which is that it's actually a new Dirty Harry picture) but when all details are secret it could just as easily be one for the crowds rather than something prestige for the Academy. He doesn't only make Million Dollar Babies. He also makes True Crimes and Blood Works.

02 Steven Soderbergh's two part Che Guevera epic. The first half is called The Argentine and the second Guerilla. Will they actually release both halves this year? If they do will they only campaign one? If they only release The Argentine and the Academy likes it, will they wait to honor it until part two?

01 The act of predicting Oscars in April is insane.

The first step is knowing you have a problem...

previous article: studio preview

COMPLETE
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55 comments:

ryansumera said...

not too optimistic on the allen-cruz match-up since cruz is only actually good when she's speaking in her native tongue. and also, last time i checked. the last good woody allen (at least for me) was in the early 90's aka bullets over broadway.

17 Year Old Blogger said...

Stephen Daldry will go 3 for 3 for Directing for The Reader. By that I mean the only 3 films he's ever done, he will get nominations for them. (He's at 2 for 2 which is insane)

Robert said...

Not to mention that The Academy's taste has shifted very recently. I don't know what to expect from them anymore. I almost bet my house that No Country wouldn't win (luckily I don't own a house so I couldn't).

I mean, AMPAS (Crash, Forrest Gump, A Beautiful Mind lovers) pick No Country for Old Men? And even nominate There Will Be Blood?

It's a strange world.

17 Year Old Blogger said...

Also all your Supporting Actress films are opening in December and November...I would also add Amy Ryan for The Changeling as a contender.

The Jack said...

Certain supporting nominations seem to be good bets at this early stage, like Josh Brolin in "Milk" (he plays the assassin and he has a LOT of momentum from this year's awards season). I've also got a good feeling about Jeannine Tripplehorn as Jackie O. in "Grey Gardens" if that gets any kind of traction.

I think Spike Lee's "Miracle At St. Anna" is being very underrated at the moment. If Obama wins the election, I think it has a very good chance at a nomination.

Anonymous said...

I will be shocked if Anne Hathaway gets a nomination. There's a reason she's been "ignored"... it's because she's consistently over-shadowed by better performers in her own movies.

17 Year Old Blogger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
17 Year Old Blogger said...

I would put Hoffman in supporting for Doubt, but also when you click on the Best Actor it goes to your 2007 page...

17 Year Old Blogger said...

I like your predics so far, but I would switch Hoffman for Leo, who I think will be nominated for RR.

Kevin said...

Your Actor page link thingy is messed up

17 Year Old Blogger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin said...

Oh sorry

I thought I was the first one to post it

sorry

good predixs. but brad? please.

Arkaan said...

Nathaniel, The Youngt Victoria looks like a Warner Bros project. The two production companies involved have distribution deals with WB. FWIW

Rich Aunt Pennybags said...

Where's the Synedoche, New York supporting actress love?

NATHANIEL R said...

crap yeah. i knew i'd forget something major.

RC said...

i still love that you're trying and dreaming...and at this stage...it's all fun.

thanks for going to the work to put together all the catagories...i'm interested at what you'll imagine.

JS said...

It's Miranda Richardson or bust for me in the supporting race.

And how I wish you'd be right about Josh Brolin's chances. That fantastic bastard played a great bunch of....... fantastic bastards last year.

amir_uk said...

Psst... Nathaniel... you give away your Best Actress April Fools predix at the bottom of the Supporting Actor predictions page. Damn, I'm worried now I know I'm only going 1 or 2 for 5 with yours...

amir_uk said...

Also I just don't think Baz Luhrmann will be nominated this year - I mean, they passed on him for 8-time nominee Moulin Rouge... But would love to see a Fincher, Luhrmann, Van Sant scenario this year. Saw Mala Noche at the London Gay Film Festival yesterday and I was blown away by Van Sant's poetry. New favourite director alert. Have you seen it? Tim Streeter (in his one and only role) is a dream.

And I just love seeing the words 1 nomination next to Patricia Field's name in Costume Design. So cool of the Academy that she actually has an Oscar nom!

amir_uk said...

Also (last one I promise!) just thought: wouldn't Scarlett Johansson maybe have a chance in Supporting Actress for Vicky Cristina Barcelona?

Anonymous said...

I am on the bandwagon for Dancing with Shiva and Anne Hathaway, its a pretty juicy role and if she does justice to portraying an ex-coke-addicted-model (I hope so) she can get in.

Its a pretty grown up role and its her in the main seat, I know alot of people are preicting Debra Winger but her role is very small.

GayAsXmas said...

Can I just say, and I know this is being a bit snobby, that if Kate does win her first Oscar this year, I don't want it to be for supporting for The Reader. I think she will be amazing as always in Revolutionary Road and if there is a chance for a double nomination, doesn't Oscar history imply that she will be given the supporting win as 'compensation'?

jimmy said...

why would jessica lange....who seems like such a solid, no-nonsence, intellegent, minnesota gal...go and butcher up her beautful face??? i'd much prefer to see her slightly wrinkled ala julie christie & diane keaton. love the prediction pages.....seems like movies are much much better in 08 vs o7. lots to look forward to.

NATHANIEL R said...

amir from my understanding Scarlett is the lead in vicky christina barcelona. She and Hall (nm?) play vicky and christina

NATHANIEL R said...

amir oh and those are definitely NOT my actress predicts you saw. I use a template for these pages (which is why sometimes the nomination totals are wrong --me forgetting to change things) and the actress list you saw was a rough draft from a month ago. different now. in fact. i'm still deciding!

Anonymous said...

Re: the Reader, don't forget that the delays were also helped by Nicole getting pregnant (lucky for everyone Kate was able to step in so quickly. When does that woman find time to sleep?)

RedSatinDoll

Anonymous said...

//Not to mention that The Academy's taste has shifted very recently. I don't know what to expect from them anymore. I almost bet my house that No Country wouldn't win (luckily I don't own a house so I couldn't).

I mean, AMPAS (Crash, Forrest Gump, A Beautiful Mind lovers) pick No Country for Old Men? And even nominate There Will Be Blood?

It's a strange world.//

What he said.

Seriously, I thought Atonement was a sure thing in all catagories, when I saw the trailer (WWII! British! Doomed love! Grand panoramic mise en scene! Vanessa Redgrave! etc) It certainly looked like the sort of thing AMPAS of old took to like catnip (or concaine, more accurately) but this year...meh. the reasons re: scheduling were amply discussed last year, but still - something has definitely shifted in the universe when AMPAS is giving all the love to grit and guts and blood rather than the traditional prestige pics (even if the prestige pics also have blood and guts). Not that that is necessarily a bad thing, but I imagine it makes the job of trying to predict their choices that much more difficult.

RedSatinDoll

Jesus Alonso said...

lol, Nat, for the first time I did the same this year here: http://cifra2.blogspot.com/2008/04/april-fools-predix.html

Basically I think Eastwood/Jolie is unavoidable, Allen is bound to get back to Oscar night, remember Cruz will be playing a SPANISH character using a "foreign" language, so no-one would care about her accent, plus there's the Bardem giving Supporting Actress thing to his girlfriend that would be the photo of the night...

Fincher's film, despite being a F.Scott Fitzgerald adaptation doesn't seem to me like such a huge contender in advance. Doubt is another movie I don't have that much faith for, in the big cathegories, save acting.

It looks an exciting year, though... I only hope Cloverfield gets remembered in technicals, but I fear it won't, at all.

Anonymous said...

For animated,Coraline is apparently planning a limited release in december.If it's true,it will be eligible.Also,if they get release,there's Terra and Miyazaki's Ponyo on the cliff.

Klemen

Anonymous said...

2 questions nat

when in the 80's did they pass on streep you mean for heartburn and falling in love.

what is wrong with jessica lange's face she looks the same to me.

Anonymous said...

What I meant to say earlier is that I think they are going to pass on Australia except in the technical/design catagories, although I hope to be proven wrong.

RedSatinDoll

NATHANIEL R said...

anonymous...

exactly. Meryl was nominated in 81,82,83,85,87,88 so what I meant to say was no one, not even Meryl, is nominated every year in which they work.

Except John Williams.

I know a lot of people are predicting Blanchett and Winslet again this year but I think that's kind of insane. Both have five nominations already after only working for a little over a decade.

There are only 16 women in the entire history of motion pictures who have more nominations than 5... and are Blanchett and Winslet not going to have to wait until they're older like all of those other people did? Even Meryl.

In fact if Winslet is nominated for a double this year (as some pundits are betting on) that would put her in the top 8 women OF ALL TIME by the age of 33

--a year faster than Bette Davis
--5 years faster than Streep?
--16 years faster than Hepburn

insanity

I think they'll make her wait a little longer than that ;) but I could be wrong.

Carl said...

Aaaaghhh! That'll teach me to IMDb every entry on your best actress possibilities list. I had no idea that Angelina Jolie was going to get to work with a Joe Straczynski script. I still watch "Babylon 5" on DVD. If he does as well with "Changeling" as he did with that, then Angelina can get fitted for a formal right now.

bertrand said...

Kate Winslet's part in The Reader is clearly a lead one, at least in the film, but they could promote her as supporting ala Jamie Foxx/Jake Gyllenhaal, because she's a co-lead and not the only lead in the film.

But she could also go the Kidman route and get nominated for the showier perf, which would be The Reader without a doubt. She's not going to win for another suburban role, but she might for playing a Nazi (deglam ! accent ! World War II !)

I'm sure if Laura Linney had gotten the part she would be a sure thing, anyone agree ?

alex Cypher said...

I can't imagine Meryl and Kate being left out. The parts are so meaty and oscarbait on paper !

Angelina is more shaky, but it's a juicy part as well and Eastwood works well with his leading ladies (Streep'Madison County, Swank's Million Dollar Baby)

rubi-kun said...

I've heard that Oliver Stone's W will likely be ready for release this fall. Somehow I'm guessing that if it does make it in time, Josh Brolin will get nominated for Best Actor simply for the role (from what I've heard, it'll be a frontrunner in Best Makeup as well). If the movie itself is any good, it could be a big contender as well, possibly weakening Milk for the biopic position.

On the animated side, Disney has a CG film titled Bolt starring John Travolta. It's had a rocky production history, but John Lasseter overseeing it should help it. And if Wall-E is a Nemo-sized-or-greater hit, I can see Andrew Stanton being the first animation director to get nominated for Best Director.

Anonymous said...

Always interesting how many pundits tend to leave DiCaprio out of the mix until his films finally hit. Isn't it obvious by now that the guy is some kind of magnet for the Academy? Especially given his recent double whammy...and they didn't even nod him for the best role. Anyhow, it looks to be another overcrowded year for actors, but then it always is.

Kamikaze Camel said...

In my year-in-advance predix I had DiCaprio down, but for Body of Lies. Just 'cause.

Strange, Nat, I think we have the exact same 5 original screenplay nominees. Freaky.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Oh, and maybe it's just your admitted non-knowledge of the sound categories, but Australia not even being on the sound editing rundown is confusing. That movie was made for sound editing. Animals! War sequences! Wilderness! Fires!

Anonymous said...

//Aaaaghhh! That'll teach me to IMDb every entry on your best actress possibilities list. I had no idea that Angelina Jolie was going to get to work with a Joe Straczynski script. I still watch "Babylon 5" on DVD. If he does as well with "Changeling" as he did with that, then Angelina can get fitted for a formal right now.//

Carl, it seems to me that, barring the unforseen, we can count Angie in just on the "oh, we didn't nominate you last year for Mighty Heart and went for that windbag Elizabeth:TGA instead? Oops, our bad" factor alone.

RedSatinDoll

Anonymous said...

The link to the "We can't wait " page (which admittedly I read before) is not working right now, Nat.

One thing you forgot to mention about Streep - the age factor. Sure, Mirren got around it but otherwise, Oscar seems to love his leading ladies to be sweet young things. A nomination is one thing but Streep had better be ON FIRE (and no younger actress turn in a "gosh we didn't know she could do that!" perf - hello, Drew) to actually win.

RedSatinDoll

NATHANIEL R said...

should be fixed now

alex Cypher said...

A coupla things :

- W. is supposed to be released this year, so I think it's safe to add Brolin in your Best Actor list.

- According to people who read the Burn After Reading script Brad Pitt's character is showy and a scene-stealer

NATHANIEL R said...

they haven't even started filming W.

i think a release this year is wishful thinking

17 Year Old Blogger said...

I think W will be ready. It starts shooting in 3 weeks and will be complete easily in 4 to 5 months, by that time Stone will put it in Film Festivals and it'll have a late fall release, I think he's eying a election date but I don't think its possible. Late November is best bet.

alex Cypher said...

If Million Dollar Baby could be finished on time (it was filmed in July), so can W.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Oliver Stone is not Clint Eastwood. Oliver Stone is a man who can not stop fiddling with his movies and considering his career is in dire need of a hit right now I can't imagine he would throw out W into the world without it being perfect.

tippi said...

But if you're making a film about Bush, wouldn't it be better to release it in 2008, considering this the year where dear Georgie leaves the White House ?

Hillary Clinton should be played by Sharon Stone in a fat suit (but not the one she used in Alpha Dog).

Kamikaze Camel said...

Well, Tippi's an Omaba supporter then.

NATHANIEL R said...

what kamikaze said.

Stone isn't exactly a fast filmmaker. Clint Eastwood is not the norm (in oh so many ways)... i mean Gran Turino hasn't even CAST yet and it'll probably be ready for December.

;)

Jar Jar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Ugh.

Your predictions are good, but your obsession with Hollywood being a homophobic land of conservative pundits is possibly the most unfair, hypocritical bashing of Hollywood. Just because Brokeback Mountain lost out to Crash does not mean that Hollywood has been taken over by Ann Coulter and Dick Cheney. (We must remember that it received by far the most nominations of any film that year). Also the AMPAS love has faded on Gus Van Sant in the last eleven years.

But anyway, enough of my ranting. Don't you think that the bleaker films will continue to reign? How No Country and There Will be Blood dominated nominations, could that be echoed in 2008. Personally I see such heavier films as Blindness, The Reader, and The Changeling coming through. Epic, original musicals (Australia), pure comedies (Happy Go Lucky) and thriller/adventure films (Body of Lies) don't really seem to have a place anymore, booted off by No Country for Old Men and cynical dramedies like Juno.

Oh well.

NATHANIEL R said...

anon where did i get obsessed with Hollywood being homophobic and conservative other than stating "GAY!" underneath Milk?

and I think some people mistake the use of the word "conservative" to mean politically speaking. I believe (completely) that Hollywood is conservatively artistically. And when it comes to politics, they lean liberal but many many films have more of a conservative worldview than Hollywood itself seems to realize.

and I believed all these things before Brokeback lost to Crash. I mean A BEAUTIFUL MIND beat out 4 far more artistically adventurous films and that's kind of the norm (with the exception of the last couple of years)

they are a conservative voting body (artistically).

I know that I'm kind of "known" for the Brokeback year and my companion rant pieces but I wish people wouldn't try to shoehorn everything I say back into that same argument.

and Australia is not a musical.

and I'm glad you otherwise like the predictions.

Anonymous said...

Never underestimate the power of Cate Blanchett. She may very well nab her sixth Oscar nomination this year with "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button". Read the script. Her role is almost as important at Brad Pitt's.

David said...

Cheri is being released in December. Michelle Pfeiffer MUST be nominated for Best Actress. She is going to give a knock-out performance.