Saturday, October 03, 2009

This Weekend

I'll be updating the Oscar predictions this weekend as I yank myself back into my movie head with large pots of coffee and research (i.e. web surfing). As you may have heard, the all-star period piece The Last Station is back in the mix. So, is the well judged grumpy old man drama That Evening Sun with Hal Holbrook. You'll recall that I had hunch-hopes for both early in the year so I'm glad they're back in.

Which movie is next? No one knows

We rarely have a frontrunner this early on but doesn't it seem like the Best Picture race hasn't even begun? I know the media wanted to claim we were 40% finished months ago with the box office quartet Up, Star Trek, District 9 and The Hangover -- Hee. Media, you so silly! -- but I'm guessing we're only 15-20% on our Oscar way. More later today... I'll try to stay chained to the computer this weekend until I'm sufficiently in the now. I hope your plans are freer.

20 comments:

Juno101 said...

I'm glad you put a blank spot instead of that thing.

Anonymous said...

What Juno said. Not trying to start anything, but a friend and I watched BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN last night. It had been a while since either of us had seen it, and the thing is just a stunner. Not a wasted word or shot in the whole movie, and just beautifully acted. I don't think the sting will ever go away from Black Sunday, and I think that's mainly because (and this is putting all politics aside) we rarely get a frontrunner that's actually THAT good. They really missed the boat, but I guess the one bright spot is that they at least seem determined not to undermine themselves like that again. THE DEPARTED is my favorite winner this decade, and NO COUNTRY is probably the best film to win this decade. But still...

-VAL

Arkaan said...

Heh. Some thoughts for your perusal....

1. Having seen both A Prophet and The White Ribbon, you can cross those off the foreign film predictions. A Prophet is amazing; The White Ribbon is not, but both are nuttsily difficult for this deeply conservative organization. The only cute kids aren't exactly doing what the academy wants (aka, coddling up to old codgers and making them see the magic of life). Meanwhile, the Italian committee surprised me and went with the Tornatore film (Baaria) over the higher profile Belocchio (Vincere). I had the latter as a possible oscar nominee and minor contender in actress (Mezzogiorno's reviews are amazing). Oh well.

2. Could this be the lightest line-up in ages? Remember 2005 or 2007? Those were bleak times. But with Up in the Air, The Informant, An Education, etc looking at major nod (possibilities), and a ten space line-up in best picture, we could have fascinating mixture. Or it could be boring.

3. Mo'Nique's press is taking a somewhat negative turn because she wants more money to promote it. While I don't think she'll lose the nod, it'll be funny to see people getting themselves in a twist.

4. A Serious Man: Major contender or minor player?

Jim T said...

Nathaniel. Mirren (according to Tapley) is lead in Last Station. I'm saying this because you believed she would probably be supporting. Tough competition is the best actress category. (once again)

Anonymous said...

I think the Informant is out. The reviews aren't that great. The only thing that has possibilities from that movie is matt Damon but I wouldn't be surprised if he's left out.

DJ said...

So glad to see The Last Station is back in the mix. I think Plummer, Mirren (Actress), and McAvoy could all get in at this point.

The Best Actress race is shaping up pretty good: Mirren, Streep, Mulligan, Swank, Ronan, Sidibe, Cornish, and now Incontention is saying that Cotillard will be pushed lead! And imagine if Bening's film can make a splash.

Lev Lewis said...

See I feel as if we already have five locks: Up In the Air, Precious, Up, The Hurt Locker and An Education. Obviously a lot can change but unless something MAJOR happens I really don't see any of these missing out.

Anonymous said...

Mirren may get a lead nod but will not be threat to win. Rarely does the Academy reward after a win just 3 years prior. Swank did it but it was 5 years between wins. Exceptions were Hanks, Tracy & Hepburn. It still looks to be Streep vs. Mulligan.

NATHANIEL R said...

Lev... i'm talking about films that have already opened.

right now we have only pre-release buzz... sure, a lot of people have seen those movies but it's still not "real" until the public gets to have an opinion. My take at least. I know people disagree.

Lev Lewis said...

I suppose that's true but I still feel as if we already have fairly cemented critical reactions to these films. Precious and An Education have been known commodities since January, Up In the Air has everything going for it at the moment so unless for some reason the buzz is killed or goes down upon their respective releases then they are all most likely going to very dominant in the race. I think enough has been written about them and enough people have seen them by now that we can discuss them with some sense of accuracy.

NATHANIEL R said...

Oh i absolutely agree.

even though i think that it's not really healthy for the cinema or the Oscars that fates are decided months before a film has it's opening night.

i was more reacting to how people wanted to pretend we had 40% of our nominees already even before toronto and venice kicked off. i guarantee there will be some changes in buzz between now and February 7th. I mean that's still 4 months away.

Lev Lewis said...

It's true. It gets said a lot but every year seems to become slightly more boring than the last. This year, in particular, is going to be hard for me if Up In the Air becomes the Big One.

Michael said...

Nate,

I just came home from a screening of Precious at the NYFF and I have to say the movie was everything people have been saying AND more. I think it's in for Picture, Director, Actress, Supporting Actress and Adapted Screenplay.

If it were to get another Supporting Actress nomination I would put my money on Paula Patton rather than Mariah Carey. Patton not only has a lot more screen time but also she's the one who guides and takes care of Precious and I have a feeling voters would be more entranced by her.

As of right now Precious should take Picture, Actress, Supporting Actress and Adapted Screenplay. Director goes to Kathryn Bigelow.

Anonymous said...

that sounds bangin'!

Anonymous said...

Nathaniel,
When will the Awards updates be posted?

NATHANIEL R said...

i'm working on them. it's not easy to do. i suppose i should just list them like every other site as opposed to my complicated charts.

but i do how i do.

Anonymous said...

Geezzz Michael,
You sound like Oprah buzzing about Precious. I think you're a little ahead of yourself. The only award I see this movie taking is supporting actress. That is getting shaky with all of Monique's demands for appearances -Julianne Moore could steal BSA.

Juno101 said...

no, please stick to your complicated charts. I love them, they're too cool for school.

adri said...

I like your line-ups so far. It doesn't seem like a weak year for Best Actor - look at the actors you've got in your line-up! They're great! And it seems like they'd actually be nominating on the basis of quality (what fun).

The change I might suggest in Best Actor is in the #9 or#10 spot - instead of Matt Damon as a fun performance, I'd put Edward Norton playing the two roles of brothers in "Leaves of Grass". I'd bet that will remind us of how versatile and how much fun Edward Norton's performances can be.

Best Supporting Actor has some of my favorite actors in it. This selection is great. Even if "Lovely Bones" doesn't quite work out, Tucci was award worthy in "Julie and Julia".

I think there may be some changes in the Best Actress category. I think that Streep might not be in the final line-up, because her movie won't have many other nominations (unlike Mirren in "the Last Station" which has been called Oscar-friendly) and because of voters possibly choosing another acting icon, such as Annette Bening, if her movie is distributed. Bening could actually win this category if she's nominated (against newcomers and already winners, and as being considered far overdue).

And if Bening's movie comes out ("Mother and Child"?) and voters watch it, there may be a place for Naomi Watts in Supporting. Watts is so reliably good (and under-rewarded).

And if "The Last Station" is the old-fashioned, audience-friendly, actor showcase it's being said it is, then maybe an adapted screenplay nomination might be considered - the screenplay makes those other things possible.

Michael said...

Right now I haven't seen any movie other movie that has a chance of taking Picture, Actress, Supporting Actress and Adapted Screenplay away from Precious. That being said, it's only October.