Thursday, September 21, 2006

Oscar Prediction Update: Complete

I'm such a contrarian. I know I'm SUPPOSED to say Dreamgirls, Babel, Bobby, Flags of Our Fathers, and The Good Shepherd. But you know how I do. If I ever just pick all the baitiest on paper stuff: shoot me. I'm trying to imagine scenarios and shifts of opinion that occur in a few months from now, so until things get serious: a bit of wishful thinking mixed with actual plausibility. It's only September ~ still having fun with the shuffling.

It's very important to remember that we no one knows as much as they think they do yet --we still haven't been able to factor in public reaction (box office & word of mouth), media reaction (they do pick favorites and they faun all over them. They also pick scapegoats), and even critical reaction (we've only heard from a few long lead people and the cinephiles who attend festivals. That's not entirely representative you know...

I know that I'm still "out there" on a few things but I enjoy offering things to chew on. Until the films premiere and the precursors begin it's wildly up in the air. The category I feel i'm terribly wrong in is Best Actor. But I gave up. It could go anywhere still. Good lord, Robin Williams could even be back.

New Predictions in Full

Read them over and discuss hot topics:
1. Will there be more than one Hispanic director nominated? There are at least four with strong films in the mix.
2. Which "sure thing(s)" will falter? Dreamgirls, Bobby, Flags of Our Fathers, the Good films?
3. Will either of the "Good" films (Shepherd & German) live up to hype? Nobody has seen either.
4. Does Universal Children of Men Christmas move mean they're clueless about how to sell it? Or might the shortlist hype be bonafide.
5. Will Little Children win them over despite it's non heartwarming nature? It'll be tough for the members who like "cozy".
6. Will Volver make Almodovar the new Kurosawa / Bergman/ Fellini? They use to give frequent love to favored foreign masters.
7. What currently hyped person or film is a total red herring? Not all buzz endures.


Anonymous said...

Hi. In your Foreign Film Chart, you say Puerto Rico has never been nominated, but it has. It was for year 1989, with the film "Lo que le pasó a Santiago" (What Happened to Santiago).

Kris said...

Five nominees this year in sound editing. New rules.

And I'd take off the Bobby sound nod. Just - not possible.


Kris said...

Also, B&E's score likely will not be eligible. Multiple composers credited.

Anonymous said...

I think that the prestige people like Kurosawa, Bergman and Fellini had a lot to do with the time in which it happened: the 60's and 70's, where artistic elites were more open to international influences. That made it possible for movies like "Z", "The Emigrants", "Cries and Whispers", and others to receive nominations in major categories in a business-as-usual fashion. American cinema is not as open to influence nowadays, so efforts such as "Talk to Her", "Life Is Beautiful" and "Volver" are uncommon; it is more likely that Hollywood will reward international filmmakers who become part of the American movie industry: Cuarón, Iñárritu, Amenábar, Agresti (whose "The Lake House" is nowhere near as good as his Argentinean films), etc.

Javier Aldabalde said...

ralch: The BP mentions for "Emigrants" and "Cries and Whispers" are so awesome as to be inexplicable, really. (But yes, it's the 70s we're talking about here).

And Nat, what amazing, gutsy predictions these are! If "Volver" becomes a BP nominee (a rare case of world-class art/entertainment being embraced by Hollywood), that's going to go down as one of your finest predictions ever.

By the way, Kurosawa was only nodded once - Bergman (3 times) is a much better example.

re: Cuarón. God, I hope so. But he may be too good for them still.

Oh and another hot topic: Can Cruz pull a Loren???


well by Kurosawa i meant that his films were often recognized. not just the directo nominee. Japan never "won" per se but before it was a competitive category and when it was nominees it was all about Kurosawa.

this would probably happen to Spain if they would just go with Almodovar but I understand they want to spread the wealth.

Javier Aldabalde said...

Well yes, he was awarded for "Rashomon" and "Ran", plus "Dersu Uzala" and "Kagemusha" were nommed. Vittorio De Sica should be mentioned for winning Foreign Film FOUR times, I think.

RC said...

i love your inclusion of breslin for supporting, you're right I think she has a chance.

I think you're overly hopeful on Volver...especially if Little Children and Babel are in the mix...I like that Bobby's picking up steam...a few months ago it was hardly on the radar.

Cuaron for best director...nah, i just don't see it.

I really think Benning will go supporting, her role in running wish scissors is only so big.

It wasn't until I looked at your predictions that I realized how weak the best actor race is at this point...I think taking Flags out of the running weakens the male catagories....It surely will getting a supporting actor nod at least, I would think.

I really hope Brian Greengrass gets a director nod for United 93.

I wonder if Tim Robbins might go supporting for Catch a Fire?

I wonder if a supporting actress will have a good shot from Babel...

I wonder if a Good Year has a chance anywhere...I think it might have a chance.

Interesting choice of Maguire...I haven't heard anyone else suggest him. Do you have a buzz source?

--RC of

Anonymous said...

Why is no one considering "The Fountain" as a strong candidate. Does it have bad buzz or something... My Oscar-freak days are vanishing rapidly; last year's crash (get it? get it? as in "Crash"!!... I crack myself up) didn't help to the cause. The Oscars are becoming the film industry's Grammys.

Anonymous said...

This decade may actually have the weaker quality average in terms of Best Picture Oscar winners.


raclh --i think the reason is that Fountain got very chillly reception in Toronto. very chillly.

if you're going for artsy and the cinephiles don't even like you you're generally in trouble.

adam k. said...

Supporting actor will be mighty competitive for the win if Pitt, Affleck, Murphy and Nicholson are all in the running. I mean really. And I bet they will be.

This decade really has had a bad record for Best Pic wins.

A Beautiful Mind
Million Dollar Baby

The only one of those that will be considered a great and lasting cinematic achievement is ROTK, and they only voted for that cause it was a phenom within a trilogy of phenoms. All their other best pics have been kinda laughable in how packaged and typical they are. Especially in the case of Crash. Sigh.

adam k. said...

Also, there are a lot of best actress roles/actresses that would've looked very likely to be nominated if there weren't basically only one slot still up for grabs at this stage. I literally can't see the lineup without Mirren, Streep and Winslet. It just won't happen. I CAN see the lineup without Bening, but I'd still put her at an easy #4 given her "owed" status. And I feel Cruz is looking better and better, so I'd have her at #5 too, but Cate Blanchett in Good German, Judi Dench in anything, Ashley Judd in Bug, etc. all feel so nominatable, which is weird. I hope they make good decisions with such an abundance of good possibilities.

Anonymous said...

I think "For Your Consideration" (with Catherine O'Hara dragged along if it happens) and "Little Miss Sunshine" will be contenders for major awards, as more than a couple of "favourites" are likely to dissapoint, if not more. "Babel" looks dominant for me, as of now.

Anonymous said...

If you've heard any of the advance word it seems like we might be seeing much more of the departed besides just screenplay... Director, Actor (lead and supporting), editing... it seems like Scorsese has done it again.

douglas said...

if your predix is right this would probably be the best line -up since 2001...

Derek said...

Thomas Newman is now doing the score for The Good German. From what I've heard, the Little Children score is neither great nor memorable, so you might want to think about changing those around.

Anonymous said...

I'm getting excited about Oscars again, which is amazing after last year, thanks to your blog.

Little surprised to see Bobby on the BP list, as I've heard only lukewarm buzz from Toronto. I would substitute The Departed.


ANONYMOUS -i'd love to see departed do well but even those going crazy for it (your long lead oscar folks like poland, kris, etc...) don't seem to think it Oscary. strange. if its' excellent and the critics get behind it, why not?

ETSLEE -for BOBBY i'm already dreading but even people who hate it seem to be saying Oscar will like it. we'll see.

but seriously: ANYONE ? On Children of Men? CHRISTMAS seems so weird for that film.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm.....why include Damon as oscar fodder without DiCaprio for The Departed - he's actually getting better ink at least from those who've already seen it? Also worth noting by moi -- DiCaprio in the Blood Diamond trailer -- a film that I have reservations about -- his accent is amazingly good. Having spent some time with S. African blokes, it's just about spot on and is not an easy accent to mimic. Could he be about to assume a little more of the excitement he exuded earlier in his career? Stay tuned!!!


the Damon thing is obviously weird but I had him up there from the beginning and it was mostly GOOD SHEPHERD based.

um. i have no excuse ;)

Anonymous said...

I think you should look out for Catherine O'Hara to be competitive in Best Actress. The more I hear about the movie the more it seems like her show. And a nom would be a good way to honor her consistnent quality, and use her as a stand-in to honor the whole Guest ensemble.

douglas said...

oprah just said whitaker is one for hte history books... dammit! that looks like a big push for the last king of scotland....

usually when oprah says a movie is phenomenal people seem to like it too... see crash, see halle berry in monster's ball...

RC said...

douglas, whitaker for sure...there is no doubt.

adam, i think Gladiator stands as a great film...i think technically the film is beautiful...I love the score, I love the cinemotography, the art direction, etc.

I think whatever happens in 2006, the best pic line up will be better than on lineups in this decade...i'm excited about a lot of the films coming out this year.

--RC of

adam k. said...

I am not as big a Gladiator detractor as some, but I don't think it's a particularly great film. Still, it's etter than Beautiful Mind, Crash, and probably M$B too.

Glenn Dunks said...

"All their other best pics have been kinda laughable in how packaged and typical they are."

Well, I still say Chicago is great and Million Dollar Baby was pretty good too. I have no issue with that winning BP. Sure, it wasn't in my Top 10 (and I would've prefered The Aviator) but I remember really liking it. Swank though... well, we know all about that.

The lines up look pretty good, but I think there's only so much art they will nominate. Babel, Little Children and Volver will battle for a critics spot with one or two others. Am loving the Volver predix. I've been predicting Almodovar since April, but the film I'd always had around #6 or #7. An odd-looking Spanish dude doesn't win such a big category like Best Original Screenplay without making a few extra fans. I think Volver is definitely right in the mix.

In Best Actress, as Adam said, there are just so many that you feel are definitely gonna be nommed. Like I said before, I actually see Cruz in #4 and Bening in #5. I love the Bening, but if her Scissors perf is seen as too similar to her other roles then they could easily drop her and replace her with, say, Beyonce or Judi Dench (although are they really gonna go with Streep, Mirren and Dench?). It's not very often that you have nominees on their 14th, 5th, 4th and 3rd nominations respectively.

Actor is a mess right now.

And all the rest seems plausable.

adam k. said...

Chicago and M$B are okay choices, but they're just so clearly oscary and rather simple.

Chicago is good and fun, but whenever I see it it just reeks of "Miramax marketed oscar machine". SO packaged. And kind of surfacey. It's a very good film, but just not best pic material, IMO.

And M$B was good, too, but just so ordinary... and so overrated with that big rush of "OMG, we HAVE to vote for this" at the end. I've already basically forgotten it. Maybe I should watch it again, I dunno.

In terms of deservingness, I'd rank recent winners thusly:

2) Chicago
3) M$B
4) Gladiator
5) A Beautiful Mind
6) Crash

I love ROTK. I'm kind of neutral on the next three (i.e. I like them, but don't think they're great best pic choices). ABM kind of pisses me off still, especially cause of what it beat, but it was always so inevitable that I was kind of over it before it even happened. And Crash I still refuse to even acknowledge as a legitimate winner. I just want it to die. Brokeback Mountain WAS 2005.


Glenn -"there's only so much art they will nominate"

well, that's true and then. maybe it's not true. At least last year they seemed to go remarkably heavy (Crash being the sole "happy" --it pretended darkness but it was all about that ending) i mean that lineup looks remarkably art: munich, brokeback, gnagl, capote... that was a small / critics choice lineup. I mean, it wasn't 5 mulholland drives or anything but it was still an strange group in terms of the sameness. (very stark, heavy, sober, and male)

but the winners. well, i'm not so sure they've changed any. I like Chicago and ROTK just fine... but they have a habit of being a bit soft when it comes to the actual statue. I mean some of those 90s choices too. Yeesh.

Glenn Dunks said...

But Nat, as you've said, after a year such as last year, surely they'll revert back to their Hollywood pandering ways a bit. I mean, if the movies are good.

If all the high profile ones turn out to be duds then fill it with enough Volvers and Babels to sink a ship please!

It was pretty much decided that last year's crop of Hollywood movies were bad.

I still LOVE Chicago. I think I'm gonna watch that right now (considering I'm at home sick with this crazy disease y'all Americans call "mono") That or Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction, which I have sitting on the DVD player.

Glenn Dunks said...


"I wonder if a Good Year has a chance anywhere...I think it might have a chance."

I don't think anybody expects anything from that movie. Not even the people who made it.

Sid said...

I too believe that Flag will be the one to falter. But no preview word yet so you never know.

Currently I'm saying Babel, Bobby, Dreamgirls, The Good German and Little Children

Sid said...

Also -- I'm thinking The Last King of Scotland may have more of a chance than we think...

Glenn Dunks said...

I'm thinking Scotland will be this year's Hotel Rwanda. People think it'll make it in but in the end will have to settle for an acting nod (or two) and a screenplay nom.

If it turns out to be a quiet year though, it could pull a Capote and turn those noms into a Best Picture nod. ATM I don't see it though.


well Scotland in in the right wheelhouse of quality for them. Respectable, well made, well acted, etc... so it COULD happen. But it will have to catch on.

we'll see. I liked it though.

Anonymous said...

Bobby making the BP cut? Really? ifell like I've wandered into Bizzarroland. Or Shelbyville.

Anonymous said...

I don't think any of the BP winners in this decade have been "bad"; they just feel like the Academy settled for something safe, "awardable". Even RotK was the weaker, most Hollywood-clichéd one of the three LotR movies. I don't think this is the year when the Oscars change direction. I like Clint Eastwood as director, but I really wish 'Flags of Our Fathers" sinks, even if it turns out to be a good movie. I am sick of all the cheap war mongering and demagoguery in movies and tv.

Beau said...

Best Pic:

Dreamgirls (naturally)
Babel (it's going to be a sensation, mark my words)
Little Children - critics spot, got very good reviews

...honestly, those are the only ones I think are sure things right now. Even Little Children stands a chance of getting knocked out of the race, and what then?
Saw a preview of The Good Shepard yesterday, I'm not too impressed. I'd love to see Jolie back in the running, but beyond that I just felt it... it felt like something made only for Oscar buzz. There's really no hook for me outside of the phenomenal cast, and even a great ensemble can't save your film, (as we're learning with All The King's Men right now).

Bobby has a chance, but it's starting to aquire detractors, and Flags of Our Father will probably end up doing very well in the end... it's just being hesitant right now. If Almodovar knocks it out of the park with Volver in terms of critics (and audiences wouldn't help), he'll not only get the pic, star, and himself nominated, he might get himself into that realm of prestige alongside Fellini, Bergman, Kubrick, etc. Not to say he's isn't already considered a great auteur, but they always need that one home run to get them there. This could be it.

Best Actress I think you're dead on, but Best Actor still looks tricky. I keep having the weird feeling like there's someone we're overlooking, someone who's not making their presence known. Dave Poland keeps saying Sacha Baron Cohen has a chance with "Borat", and considering the buzz coming out of Toronto mixed with a killer B.O., it's not impossible. They've awarded great comedy before...except they were in Supporting categories. Last time someone won Best Actor for a comedic role was Jack for "As Good As It Gets", nine years ago. And he's Jack. (I consider "American Beauty" more of a drama than a comedy)

Just throwing out ideas here. Anyone else who could come along and knock us off our feet? Clive Owen? (I wish.)

Beau said...

By preview of "The Good Shepard" I meant the trailer, not an advanced screening. Sorry if I got you confused.


well I suppose ROBIN WILLIAMS could have a big comeback with MAN OF THE YEAR but i'm trying not to think about it.

and of course there's WILL SMITH's "Pursuit of another Oskarnomination"

Anonymous said...

Judging by the reception in Toronto (or rather 'judged by my interpretation of the things, I've read from Toronto'), there is no way Bobby will be a major player in the race for Best Picture. As of this moment even Volver seems much more likely to get nominated.

The Departed on the other hand looks very, very good. And looking (and promoting itself as) so non-oscary, may actually payoff for Scorsese & co - this could be seen as a return to what he does best, thus not reminding everyone that Scorsese badly wants an oscar *read GONY, Aviator), but why he should have had several by now (read Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas).

Children of Men will not be a contender for Best Picture, Director or even Best Screenplay. In theory it should fare better with critics than with the Academy, so the mixed critical reception hardly points towards any Academy-love. I may change my mind after seeing the film (hopefully this weekend), but right now I simply don't believe in it's oscar potential.

Finally Last King of Scotland could be a positive surprise. It may not make it into BP, but to say it could be "below their radar" (to quote you on McAvoy)is underestimating it. Especially since we all agree it is a lock in Best Actor.

Anonymous said...

In reverse (and much longer than I intended. Damn Nathaniel and his intriguing questions).

7. What film's hype is a total red herring

I'm gonna go with Babel.

21 Grams couldn't even get a screenplay nod in a weak year (they went for The Barbarian Invasions and Dirty Pretty Things instead). It only got nods for the previously snubbed Watts and the leading-support of Del Toro (it shoulda been a candidate for film editing at the very least). While Babel has a recognizable lead trio, the highest praised performance is coming from an unknown, thus skewing the buzz.

6. Whither Almodovar
Wouldn't it be a kick to see him get nominated again? I sometimes wonder if it wasn't for Gangs of New York's yearlong oscar buzz propelling it to a slot (which it did nothing with - 10 nominations but no wins? It was competitive in at least four categories but could eek out no victories - a signal that it really wasn't liked) if Talk to Her could've snuck through for a best picture nod. But I don't know if Volver is the film to do it. That said, Sony Classics slate is very empty this season.

5. Will Little Children win them over despite it's non heartwarming nature? It'll be tough for the members who like "cozy".

I think it'll do well, very much like In the Bedroom. I do think critics/critics awards will be instrumental in getting it a nomination: if they aren't there, I think the film will falter.

4. Does Universal Children of Men Christmas move mean they're clueless about how to sell it? Or might the shortlist hype be bonafide.

I'm gonna go with they don't know how to sell it. Remember Munich? Universal was dumped into 500 theatres during Christmas - a film that featured a highly discussable topic that by all rights should've been the topic of editorials and panel debates. But any buzz it had was drowned out by the general panopoly of droning noise of the season and it hung on by virtue of being a candidate for so long.

As you mentioned, it's a genre film, and they need a longer lead time to overcome the obstacle of not being taken seriously enough (Lord of the Rings had the advantage of a longer oscar season, if you recall). I really think being released at the same time as half a dozen prestige projects (The Good Shepherd, Dreamgirls, The Good German, Notes from a Scanda/, Miss Potter, Venus) will do more harm then good. That said, I think a high tech total is certainly possible, but other than that, I expect it to be a disappointing (in terms of oscars) entrant.

3. Will either of the "Good" films (Shepherd & German) live up to hype? Nobody has seen either.

No idea. Both are ambitious projects. The Good German is based on a book by Joseph Kanon, and he's one of those writers with serious enough intentions without being overly literary, which feels like a good thing when the academy is concerned (ie. Serious without being too hard). I'm expecting really good things from both, though.

2. Which "sure thing(s)" will falter? Dreamgirls, Bobby, Flags of Our Fathers, the Good films?

Dreamgirls. I'm not expecting good things, oscarwise, for this film.

1. Will there be more than one Hispanic director nominated? There are at least four with strong films in the mix.

Maybe: Curaron has had the biggest non-foreign success, Almodovar may be the most famous foreign auteur currently going, and Inauritu has the most buzz. Right now, I'd predict the Almodovar only.

And some questions to toss back.

A. The "British" prestige project has been on the wane lately, with only Finding Neverland and Gosford Park breaking through, and those were directed by Americans (compare that to the mid 90's when we had Sense and Sensibility, The English Patient, The Full Monty, and Elizabeth/Shakespeare in Love raking up nominations). Will The History Boys, The Queen, Notes from a Scandal or Breaking and Entering be able to crack the final five, or will it be "so close, so far" for all four

B. Will Peter Morgan become the first person to get nominated in both the original (The Queen) and adapted screenplay (The Last King of Scotland) categories in the same year? Oliver Stone was nominated twice in the same category in 1986

C. Will the academy be able to survive without nominated John Williams?

D. Which supporting performer is no one predicting that you think could slip through
--right now, I think Bill Nighy (Notes from a Scandal), Michael Sheen (The Queen) and Vera Farmiga (Breaking and Entering) have strong chances than many have been ascribing to them.

E. Fox Searchlight has a very busy slate (Fast Food Nation, Notes from a Scandal, Little Miss Sunshine, The History Boys, and this is with The Namesake and Margaret being pushed to 2007. How will they play the oscar race

NicksFlickPicks said...

What about Vera Farmiga for Supporting Actress, in The Departed or Breaking and Entering? She's everywhere these days, including that big NYTimes Magazine story, and Scorsese's got a great track record with Supporting Actress candidates. Is she even "bubbling under" for you?

Carlos Reyes said...

So are the 4 Hispanic Directors:

* Pedro Almodovar (Volver)
* Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, (Babel)
* Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men)
* Guillermo Del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth)


Anonymous said...

D. Which supporting performer is no one predicting that you think could slip through

Koji Yakusho for Babel.

Because if I keep saying it, it will happen.


carlinhos: --that's them. we know that at least three of them are getting strong reviews. only cuaron's film is not widely screened.

nick: --the only reason i didn't put Farmiga is that her role in the Hong Kong film its based on was a total token girlfriend part if I recall. hopefully they beefed it up for her.

Arkaan --A) the only one I think could surprise is The Queen if it does better than expected at the box office and sets a big Mirren fest in motion.

C) Maybe they'll be forced to cancel the Score category. Or perhaps they'll have to change rules to somehow allow his old scores to be nominated. Or perhaps they should just give him an honorary this year so that they don't feel *guilty* about showing other composers some love for a change.

E) my guess is they put their money behind LAST KING... play wait and see on Little Miss Sunshine's Globe Comedy strength and try but them give up on NOTES.

to everyone: SHOULD WE FEAR A ROBIN WILLIAMS COMEBACK? It seems awfully Good Morning Vietnam-ish. Give him a podium for jokes with a serious backdrop. yikes.

Anonymous said...

"Volver" can get a BP nod. The buzz around Almodovar is really strong, and the film is wonderful. It would be a great choice.

Anonymous said...

Helen Mirren or Kate Winslet will win Best Actress this year. I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

Juliette Binoche looks suspiciously Oscary this year. And Peter O'Toole could win the best actor prize that has eluded him for so long.

NicksFlickPicks said...

(I posted at the same time Arkaan did; nice to see him mention Farmiga, too.)

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

This is all I'm saying for Flags of our Fathers and Two Letters for Iwo Jima, Will the Academy give an Oscar for Best Picture to a movie that has a "sequel" coming out in a couple of months? Imagine if they gave The Fellowship of the Rings the Oscar for Best Pic, and didn't give it to Return of the Rings. If they give the best pic to Flags of our Fathers the Best Pic, then would they have to give Iwo Jima the Best Picture too?

Anonymous said...

Your Best Director prediction is beautifully insane. I hope you're right!

I would die in happiness if I see all those seven mexican nominations! Iñarritu (diretor + producer), Cuaron (director + writer), Arriaga (writer), del Toro (Foreign), Prieto and Lubezki (cinematographers).

Anonymous said...

Where is buzz for Ryan Gosling in Half Nelson? I hear that his performance in that movie is one of the most outstanding this year. Is this film to indie to get recognized? Oscar sometimes does surprise, especially the year that Catalina Sandino Moreno got nominated for Maria Full of Grace.


Gosling could definitely rise up --particularly if the category remains weak. But, unless he has a personality transplant, he doesn't seem like the type that would "work" for a nomination. I could be wrong though but you always hear that he and McAdams don't care about playing the game.

but he is an actors actor type so if enough of them love it (and see it -being key) then maybe.

NicksFlickPicks said...

Critics' awards are possible for that performance, too, no? If the NYFC or somebody votes for him, and he continues to outclass the rest of the field as handily as he does now (most of the field, anyway), I see him as a strong contender. Edward Norton squeezed in for American History X, which was released around the same time, and (grotesquely) didn't have any prior noms or critics' laurels to help him.

Anonymous said...

Ed Norton was nominated for Primal Fear 2 years earlier, but your point remains the same, and Gosling could be a much stronger contender than we thing.

Glenn Dunks said...

But Primal Fear was a supporting role. The actors branch don't like young males that unless they really break out (like Brody).

Here's a question in relation to Eastwood and Scorsese, who people think will get nominated.

How often do directors get nominated three times in a row (and for subsequent Best Picture nominees). Like, I'm pretty sure it hasn't happened in a while but did the Fords or the Capras, or whoever they were so in love with back then, manage it?

I just keep thinking that the director's branch is gonna want to mix it up. But, who knows...


Glenn --to compare it to actual filmlographies would require extensive research (i'm so lazy -ha ha) but if you go by just oscar history --the best "concentrated" run I know of, just perusing quick statistics is:

Frank Capra (who is tied for 4th place with Clarence Brown, Woody Allen, and Steven Spielberg in terms of frequent directorial Oscar love)

In a six year stretch (34 to 39) he won 3 times with 4 nominations ---- he had other nominations but that is a mighty Capra-heavy period for the Oscars, behaving more like the Emmys back then.

the second best concentrated stretch I can see is John Ford (the all time *win* leader but tied with several for 5th place overall --including scorsese-- directors) who in the 7 year stretch from 35 to 41 had four nominations and three wins)

I don't see that happening in modern times, except for with Oliver Stone in a six year stretch 86 to 91 winning twice with an additional nomination.

Anonymous said...

Kamikaze, I don't think it's actually happened. Even in the days of Capra and Fords, there were often gaps due to the fact that there were 10 best picture nominees (or more) but only five directing.

John Ford came close, with Stagecoach, Grapes of Wrath, and How Green Was My Valley being nominated in both categories (he also made The Long Voyage Home in 1940, though, thus runing the run).

That said, there's always creating precedent.

Anonymous said...

As far as which film is going to falter, I think it's obvious that Bobby is not going to get up off the mat after about half the critics give it a beat down and another quarter shrug in indifference.

Also, Good Shepherd may be a perfectly solid, respectable film but I can't see it having the emotional content that is usually required to connect with the Academy.

Pursuit of Happyness on the other hand, well that looks like it's got emotion by the truckload, and I can see it capturing the fifth slot thanks to the we-vote-for-whatever-makes-us-cry-embarrassing-choices-in-retrospect voters. If it starts making a lot of cash, look out.

Anonymous said...

Carmen Maura is masterly in "Volver", even better than Penelope. Supporting Actress Nod!!

Brian Darr said...

Having seen THE QUEEN I think composer Alexandre Desplat should be considered a possibility for his first Oscar nod.

Anonymous said...

It should be his third or fourth nod (Birth, Syriana and, according to some, Girl with the Pearl Earring).

The reason I think The Queen could end up as a much bigger candidate its the fact that most of the players (in front and behind the scenes) are top of the line.

Anonymous said...

hey nat, whatever happened to "infamous"? I know I doesn't stand a real chance after "capote" but not even the actors? what about sandra bullock de-glamoured? and how about the "bobby"-actors in the supporting categories? people seemed to like hopkins, moore and stone in venice...
seeing demi moore getting nominated would be the funniest thing ever...
best, patrick from berlin

Anonymous said...

oh, and one more thing: how about emma thompson in "stranger than fiction". i heard raves about her perfomance...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update Nathaniel. Great stuff.

In the Best Actress category:
I've seen The Devil Wears Prada and Volver and I've read Little Children, The Good German and Notes on a Scandal.

At this point I'd say only Mirren or Bening have the potential to beat Blanchett's role in The Good German. It will be very Oscarable.

The winner will be one of those three.

Anonymous said...




Anonymous said...

"Volver" is in the race for best picture definitely.

Anonymous said...

Best actress is Carice van Houten in the movie Black Book. We gone hear from her again.

Anonymous said...

Almodovar has been waiting for a BP nod since "Talk to Her". It could happen this time with the mature and acclaimed "Volver".

Anonymous said...

I really think that you are not giving The Departed enough credit, and here is why. Scorcese's last two previous Oscar attempts (both of which I believed were highly under-rated) were perceived by the Academy as Scorcese "trying" to win an Oscar. With The Departed, Scorcese essentially gives a big F.U. to the Academy, and goes out to produce a film which is very much imbued with a sense of caustic violence and callous humor. And the audience and critic's reaction? They love it, and I think they will seriously consider nominating The Departed, and Scorcese for the Oscar (although I personally find it ironic that those same critics who extol The Departed lashed out at Gangs of New York. Clearly, they toss the word Scorcese around like they know his oeuvre, when in actuality they don't have a rat's ass what they are talking about.)

You other choices are fine, BUT I have a feeling that Flag of Our Fathers and Dreamgirls both may wind up being chokers. Call it a hunch, but I have the feeling that Flag of Our Fathers will be like another World Trade Center. It is a movie that wants to feel important and poignant, but in actuality has very little to say. Again, this purely a hunch.

My biggest feeling though, is that the public, and many critics, are fed up with the Academy bullshit that has gone on in the last six years. Several undeserving films, such as Chicago, Beautiful Mind, Million Dollar Baby, and most egregiously, Crash, have caused concern into what the Academy looks for when it awards Best Picture. Certainly all the films mentioned above were sub-par to the films nominated during the year (especially last year). My hope is that this year the Academy makes a real attempt to pick the best film, not the best pseudo-poignant movie. If not, then the Academy is truly out of touch with reality.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking this is the year Scorsese gets the love. One doens't have to get a majority of the Academy to get nominations, or even awards--just a plurality. And I do think people respect the fact that he's back on his own turf, like John Ford going back to a big Monument Valley western after a few years away.

Why are we assuming DREAMGIRLS is a lock again? And there may be some war fatigue at the Academy to damage FLAGS. Couldn't BABEL be this year's SYRIANNA? Looks like it to me (and no disrespect for SYRIANNA or BABEL. I think they're just too damn ambitious for the Academy...)

Anonymous said...

How can you not argue against Abigail Breslin? Just because she's a good child actor, this role was nothing to write howe about. Paul Dano, and Steve Careel were the stan outs in that enjoyable but overrated film.
Also, Annette Bening is the lead actress of Running With Scissors. Evan Rachel Wood is the Best Supporting, and Brian Cox and Joseph Fiennes will have to battle for Best Supporting Actor.
An Oscar nod for Abigail Breslin? Get a grip!

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that the five nominees in any category are not necessarily the five that get the most votes on the nominating ballots. Because of the bizarre voting system, your film could be liked by a very large number of people who voted it somewhere in their top five (but not #1) and still lose its spot to a film that is voted #1 by a small number of people. That explains why every year there seems to be at least one left field choice. So if there is a group that feels very passionately about say, The Last King of Scotland or Little Miss Sunshine or Volver, they could make the top five even though they might not have overwhelming broad support.

Anonymous said...

Here is my take on the various categories...

Best Picture:

I think that Flag of our Fathers is going to garner a lukewarm response among critics. While potraying the patrioism of fallen American soldiers, the film also examines the cynical nature of war. Somehow, this film will cut among viewers and generate a reaction that is half-hearted at best. It seems like the film, by not assertively taken a position, will wind up being written off as a mess. I think that is a shame, because films can take superficial positions like Crash, and offer shallow levels of insight. Likewise, I think that Volver, while a mature effort by Almodavar, will not be appreciated or understood by the Academy. Almodavar, might get a director's nod, just like Mierlles for City of God, but the film seems far too "foreign".

In short, I have a feeling that Dreamgirls, Bobby, Flag of Our Fathers will all be disappointments of some kind.

Babel and Little Children will get tossed into the "good, but too indie" section of Best Pic Nominees.

The Queen and Little Miss Sunshine will be sleeper hits.

The Departed, The Good Shephard, and The Good German will be films to watch out for.

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling that this will be the year interesting turns for Best Picture. Several of the expected frontrunners have been major bombs. Think of Hollywoodland, The Black Dahlia, and All the King's Men. They all look great on paper and in concept, but the translation into film was anything but satisfying. Currently, a similar sort of reception is being given to Flag of our Fathers and Running with Scissors. It will be interesting to see what the final nominations are.

Middento said...

Oddly enough, I wouldn't entirely count out The Fountain in musical score, which is haunting beyond compare. Mansell makes it work even better than the despair-fest in Requiem for a Dream.

Then again, I suppose people would have to like it. I think I was one of five that liked it in the theater I was in.

Anonymous said...

There's NO QUESTION Apocalypto should see nominations for Cinematography, Art Direction, Costume Design,Makeup,Sound Mixing and Sound Editing.

Anonymous said...

Im really thinking that this will be a hot Latin year at the Oscars.
So Im going to say since so many of the other films havent been seen. How about "Suenos from "Hollywood Familia". Im probably one of only a few thousand that have seen the film but the music is just damn good!

Anonymous said...

Nomination for Best Original Song!

"Suenos" from Hollywood Familia, I agree. Its good and its very Latin, hot!