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.