Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Oscar Updates: Screenplay, Animated, Costume

Time for the long awaited first revamp of those April Oscar predictions. Most awards races don't start coming into something like focus until October (once the Toronto Film Festival buzz has settled) and achieve sharp resolution hits by Mid December (give or take 5th spot battles) but what good is it to predict obviousness late in the year? That's why we like to start eeeeaarly.

Screenplays ~ This race gets a shake up what with two films based on famous novels wrapping earlier than expected. That'd be 20s romantic drama Chéri and the post-apocalyptic father/son opus The Road. I'm not betting against either now that they're in the mix. The original category is always a tougher read since the films arrive without definable pedigrees. I was already betting on Woody Allen (nominated for roughly 1/3rd of his screenplays) before the very positive reception of Vicky Christina Barcelona in Cannes. Sticking with that one is the easiest decision here.

Costumes ~ La Pfeiffer finally back in period garb = sign designer Consolata Boyle up for her second nod following that kinda surprising first honor for The Queen (2006). New: "selling points" for each competing film.

Animation ~ Zzzz. With only a couple of handfuls of releases each year, it's only ever a battle for the "just happy to be nominated" slot. Pixar will dominate with WALL-E. But the new question is whether the Neil Gaiman adaptation Coraline will make it into release by December or if Waltz With Bashir (under Sony Pictures Classics) can transform that Cannes buzz into Oscar hype.

More categories to come. Comments quite welcome. We haven't talked Oscar predictions in awhile.
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18 comments:

Robert said...

Not sure what to make of The Road.

Glad Vicky Christina Barcelona got a good Cannes reception.

Agree that despite a good Cannes showing, Synecdoche, NY just might be too much for AMPAS.

Can we say that Blindness is the first fallen giant of the year? Or is it too soon?

jimmy said...

whne are you posting the important stuff. animation? YAWN. we want the good stuff.

NATHANIEL R said...

um Jimmy. these things don't write themselves jeez! And screenplays and costumes are most definitely important... TO ME. ;)

Supporting performances coming tonight.

Rubi-kun said...

It seems that Awards Circuit really believes Wall-E has a chance at Best Picture. I'm not getting my hopes up, but maybe Stanton is in the running for Best Director? Ratatouille received more noms than expected, and Wall-E not only looks way better than Ratatouille but also supposedly has minimal bits of live-action, which could make them look at it as "experimental film" or some other crap rather than "cartoon".

The Jack said...

It'll be interesting to see what you make of "Miracle At St. Anna" now. It's always been one of my hot tips for the Oscars (Obama's success will make this another Black Oscars, me thinks) but if they didn't like Spike Lee before, they definately won't after he's criticized their beloved Clint.

However, by the end of the year, and if the film is good enough, they might look past it. It definately seems that in the past couple of years, the Academy have been wanting to make it up to those who they have been accused of ignoring in the past.

Arkaan said...

1. How many "black oscars" were there? And for the love of God please don't say the year Washington/Berry/Poitier because I may flip out.

2. I don't know about the Kauffman film. On the one hand, there's a lot of stars and Kauffman's a name brand, both in and outside of the academy. On the other hand, lotsa stars didn't do anything for I'm Not There, and that really should've been a shoo-in for best screenplay.

3. I really wish I liked the animated film category more than I do. If you do a count, I prefer the films winning best animated film more often then I prefer the films winning best picture. But the shallowness of the category (not even twenty films eligible) mixed with the usually dull nominees (Brother Bear? Shark's Tale? WTF) makes it rather a blight

4. Four of the writers in Nathaniel's adapted screenplay category are known predominantly as playwrights (Morgan, Penhall, Shanley, Hampton).

5. Too soon, Robert. I can imagine it bouncing back a bit at TIFF (a bit more populist) and scoring three or four nods. Which is what I had it scoring before Cannes.

6. I hate the title "Rachel Getting Married." It's so generic. I much prefered "Dancing with Shiva." Just like "Dancing About Architecture" was a more intriguing title then "Playing by Heart."

The Know Nothing Know It All said...

I'd kind of like to see Woody Allen win another Original Screenplay trophy before he dies.

Let's not rule out "Blindness" as a fallen giant. Does anyone else remember how "Babel" was met with incredibly mixed reviews in its early stages? Even going into the nominations announcement, "Babel" was incredibly divisive, despite being considered a "lock" at that point (thank or blame the Golden Globes for that). For some reason, I get a similar feel from "Blindness." Plus, it's a director and a cast that the Academy is familiar with.

Won't it be interesting if best actress comes down to a neck and neck horserace between Streep and Pfeiffer for the title?
Unless they move the Amelia Earheart up to
2008 and Hilary Swank sweeps everything...should I even be joking about that? Probably not...

Anonymous said...

Whoa, Nathaniel. Have you not seen the Costume Design podcast for "Australia"? That should be a shoo-in for Best Costume Design, especially with Martin's good track record with the Academy. Very surprised you knocked it out in that category (and in Best Original Screenplay as well).

And I am not too confident in "Cheri." We haven't heard much about it, and I think it will just get ignored come Academy time.

Kamikaze Camel said...

TKNKIA, but Babel won the Best Director prize at Cannes. I never thought Blindness was an Oscar film and still don't.

I'm with Arkaan about Rachel Getting Married. I didn't even know it's title had changed. Dancing with Shiva was so much better.

Nat, what happened to 9 on your animation page? It's still listed as 2008 on IMDb.

I'm with you on the worry for Wall-E in Original Screenplay. As worrying as it is, a lot of people (and it must be said, I imagine a lot of Oscar voters) don't realise there's more to a screenplay that dialogue. And considering Wall-E is apparently something like 90% dialogue-free, it's worrisome.

Jeff said...

I wouldn't count Tale of Despereaux out of the animation running just yet. We haven't seen a single frame or even a still yet, but it has a decent pedigree. Kate DiCamillo's book has a lot more structural sophistication than most kid lit, and Gary Ross is one of the directors.

NATHANIEL R said...

9 is now slated for 2009... apparently IMDB is behind. or so i've heard.

as for australia. i haven't watched the costume design podcast yet. bazmark are very good at hype and sales but i worry. Obviously i root for them. but the whole top ten are all very strong candidates. we shall see.

jimmy said...

thanks pallie. heart cha.

Janice said...

Nat, if you haven't watched the costume podcast for Australia - or any of the others, for that matter, including Production Design, you really should. Nay, you OWE it to yourself to bask in the cinematic eyecandy on display. (Who needs Disney?)

CM will be a shoo-in for at least one or two noms this year. An actual win may be tougher what with all the period porn (royal and non-royal) to compete with, and the costumes won't be as eye-popping as they were with MR. So an actual win this year is not guaranteed for her, but her chances are still very good. (If the film is actually a success critically or at the box office, her chances will be even better.)

I don't know who is doing the cinematography for Australia (I don't think it's Don McAlpine) but I think that's another safe bet and based on what I've seen in the podcasts I'd be surprised if Australia didn't take home the little man in that catagory at least.

I'm with arkaan on the "Rachel Getting Married" hate. I already loved "Dancing with Shiva" as a title, I can't believe they changed it to something so horrendous.

NATHANIEL R said...

one only hopes that "Rachel Getting Married" sounds better once we've seen the movie.

i'm still excited for it. SPC is a good film company (generally) as they're concerned with quality and DEMME used to be great and Hathaway and Winger as daughter and mom? sounds promising to me, bad title and all.

oh and the cinematography for AUSTRALIA is by Mandy Walker and unless the branch has issues with her not being in their club (i'm just guessing that she's not) it does seem like a likely nomination.

Walter L. Hollmann said...

Delays, date changes, etc., are playing merry hell with my Oscar Reading List. Every year, I try to read the novels that may wind being the Adapted Screenplay nominees. These new release dates for Cheri and The Road will crowd my bookshelf.

I much prefer Dancing with Shiva to Rachel Getting Married. I feel like there should be a comma or something in there.

Something in me--hope? desire? wishful thinking?--feels Mamma Mia! might be the surprise Costume nominee. Atonement had that iconic green dress; Mamma Mia! has those glitter gowns for Donna and the Dynamoes.

NATHANIEL R said...

well both novels are short ;)

rosengje said...

What are going to be the big novels in the Adapated Screenplay category this year? I've already read Revolutionary Road and purchased The Road.

I think reading list suggestions would make a good post...

Anonymous said...

I just saw "Wall-e" again and it reminded me of how great the production design was. Every little inch of that film, and the characters, and textures and lighting were designed from scratch. Not many other movies this year--or any other--can say that. Should win the Oscar.