Wednesday, April 15, 2009

1st Round of Oscar Predictions Complete

Whew. That took me forever this year. Apologies. Here's the index of predictions with links to more specific information for the categories themselves. It's basically my vague hunches about the films and the year to come, an unholy brew of wishful thinking, pessimism, and predictive knowledge of Oscar voting biases. I'll revise next month and fine tune. Repeat cycle. Eventually we'll reach the precursors and then the Kodak theater. It's an endless loop, like waking up in the morning and going to sleep at night.

Avatar, The Lovely Bones
and Nine are in the lead with 7 predicted nominations each. How'd that happen? I'm not that bullish on Nine's Oscar chances??? The Human Factor, An Education, Shutter Island and even The Wolf Man and Terminator Salvation have things to celebrate within this first round of crystal balling. Now that you're looking at the whole thing, what stands out for you? And what's your biggest hunch about the Oscar season to come?


J.L said...

Well I just wonder why Star Trek isn't predicted in visual effects, it's so far got rave reviews and the visual effects look splendid. I think it has better chances than Watchmen to get nominated for anything

Anonymous said...

There's a glitch on your best actress page where the black bar is obscuring some of the main text.


i guess my thing with star trek is i wonder how they'll respond to a relaunch of a franchise they were ambivalent about in the first place.

motion picture ('79) -3 noms
wrath of khan ('82) -zero
search for spock ('84) - zero
voyage home ('86) -4 noms
final frontier ('89) - zero
undiscovered country (91) -2 noms
generations ('94) - zero
first contact ('96) -1 nom
insurrection ('98) - zero
nemesis ('02) -zero

But maybe. What say y'all?


anon 4:50 ... where? I'm not seeing anything.

Shawn said...

No love at all for Taking Woodstock? I find that hard to believe from you and from Oscars.

But who knows? We'll see.

Anonymous said...

No I.Basterds Nat? Really. Wait for the cinematography of that movie.


anon 5:12... Kill Bill was one of the most beautifully photographed movies ever (and from a major Oscar force cinematographer) and they weren't buying it.

just a thought.

Robert said...

I'm betting on two dark horses right now: Wolf Man and Precious/Push/Wizards?. Wolf Man can go in two very different directions and either way could be prosperous for nominations. The film could be super techy and get in all those categories, or it could be a strong acting show case for del Toro and sneak in on Adapted Screenplay or even Director.

Precious/Push will be quite polarizing, and I am not expecting it to win anything. If the precursors and critics get behind it in a big way, I expect to see Supporting Actress and Leading Actress since the parts, to me, scream "Give me the Oscar." Obviously, the lead has a bigger hurdle to overcome than Mo'nique, since no one knows who she is whereas Mo'nique is making good on her potential and stepping outside her box. Adapted Screenplay is a possibility if the film goes over well.

I will lose it completely of Antichrist somehow is von Trier's big American award breakthrough. I doubt it, but you never know.

rubi-kun said...

Early word on Public Enemies has been extremely mixed, with lots of people downright hating it. Depp seems like a safe bet since he's due, but Picture and Director seem unlikely to me.

Taking Woodstock looks more likely to do well, given Focus has been pretty good at campaigning. Adapted Screenplay, Director, Supporting Actor, Picture, maybe Sound or Costumes seem like decent bets.

I'd bet Precious as a Picture nominee mostly as the placeholder for the Slumdog/Juno/Sunshine festival success story, since it could go that far if things line up right.

And are you sure Hurt Locker has no chances? It's supposed to be great, much moreso than any other Iraq movie, and while Picture seems unlikely, Editing and the lone Director nod seem possible. Bigelow, Lee, and Daniels would make for the most diverse director line-up possibly ever.

My predictions for Picture:

Human Factor
Taking Woodstock
The Lovely Bones

Woodstock and Bones being most vulnerable to Avatar, Bitiful, and/or Up (10th time's the charm for Pixar? Geezer Academy voters relate to geezer heroes?) sneaking in, and Nine being the most likely to not get a director nom.


rubi-kun... i'm not sure of anything yet. ;) I ignored Hurt Locker because a) you have to ignore something to have any hope of making charts and b) it seems like the type of picture that even if the critics rally won't necessarily get anywhere: long time waiting for release, unpopular subject etc.

But obviously i wish it the best because i've been rooting for Kathryn Bigelow forever.

but it just seems like if it's as good as people say it is, why has it had such difficulty getting any momentum for a release?

and I'm kind of through trusting "early word" on anything (i.e. Public Enemies) because that has led us astray SO many times in the past. Partially because seeing things at test screenings or at first festival showings or what have you are encounters that can't be repeated in the natural world of "reviews, media coverage, maintream conversations, etcetera"

plus, it seems like nowadays half the bad buzz comes from posters on IMDB and these are the same people who vote every new release with geek appeal as one of the top ten movies of all time when it comes out ;) (this is why i'm ignoring the "it's supposed to be terrible" buzz on BROTHERS. Because the audience for that movie would not be the same audience that is obsessed with seeing things first and getting into test screenings and so on and so on.

rosengje said...

Biggest surprise: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker as the Lone Director.

The movie is great and the critics that have seen it seem to be making a big effort to keep in in the public consciousness (Hi, Wells) despite Summit's coy behavior. Hopefully the constant screening (Comic-Con, ShoWest) and even the indication of interest via leaked screeners will result in deserved attention. I could also see Anthony Mackie being recognized as Supporting Actor.

Anonymous said...

hey nate,

Prieto's work in "Broken Embraces" should definitely be, at least, in the top 20. The early reviews all seem to have singled him out.


Wayne B. said...

Nathaniel, I can't believe that YOU'RE the reason Peter Sarsgaard hasn't been nominated for an Oscar! tsk :):P
I still can't believe he didn't get a nomination for "Shattered Glass", he made the movie worth watching.

Glenn said...

My big hunch atm is Lee Daniels for Best Director. And nothing for The Lovely Bones. And I'm also not buying Day-Lewis as Best Actor nor Martin Scorsese for Director and Shutter Island for Best Picture. That'd be four Best Picture/Director nominees in a row. A better batting average than Eastwood! I just can't see it happening for what appears to be a more gothic tale.

Brendon said...

nothing for the least best actor for viggo mortenson. you must not have read the book.

Rodrigo the Hated One said...

TiMER will score big time:

Best Picture
Best Director
Best Actress
Best Original Screenplay

It is this year's Juno!!!

Unknown said...

I consider myself the biggest Star Trek fan on here, if only because a bigger one is unimagineable, and yes, they hate Star Trek no matter what. The only noms it'll ever get are default ones in tech categories when there're no other choices. I don't think Meryl Streep could have gotten nominated for Montalban's brilliant role in "Wrath of Khan" (though i would REALLY like to see that!); I guess "continuing adventures of a TV show" is a deal-killer.


Brendon... i've read the book. I've also seen the movie.

adri said...

For me, the one that really stands out as Oscar-bait is "The Last Station". Christopher Plummer, Helen Mirren, James McEvoy, Paul Giamatti - the cast is great. The director Michael Hoffman showed in "A Midsummer's Night's Dream" that he can really show off an ensemble cast, and make a lush looking film.

The themes of the movie seem pretty topical as well - the isolated famous person, to whom access is restricted, even to his wife, the politicking around access and manipulation of public perception, the hounding by the paparazzi, even to death...

cal roth said...

1) Melanie Laurent emerges as a new mega French star with her leading role in Inglourious Basterds, the movie that brings Tarantino back to AMPAS' arms.

2) Public Enemies is a massive hit and follow the steps of The Departed to win Best Picture. Digital cinematography and Johnny Depp get thier kudos, at last.

3) Nine is the major flop we are all waiting to happen. The previous awards given to everybody in this project cause an ultramegabacklash.

Alex Constantin said...

some thoughts on the technical predictions...

Where the Wild Things Are for Art Direction. How could you not consider it seriously?! :) those caves, that forest, those boats, etc.

RAGE should be on the list for Makeup. they've had shittier movies before. it's Jude Law transformed in a woman. and lots of character with blue faces or whatever.

Always the mystery of Original Score. I agree of Up, Avatar & Public Enemies. I always have Cheri (isn't it said to be beautiful?!) and Biutiful, cause you know, it's Santaolalla.

doesn't MY OWN LOVE SONG have an original song written by Bob Dylan??? or the entire score. You should have it there.
Also: don't forget A Christmas Carol! (because that similar Polar Express did get a song nom). And isn't there an original Mary J. Blige song in the trailer of Precious???
:) you can consider there.

Alex Constantin said...

I meant: you can consider these :D

Anonymous said...

I have difficulty believing how Melanie Laurent (talented that she is) can emerge has the next ''mega star from France'' since there isnt enough Shoshanna in Inglouriuos Basterds, and how can she competere with all the Basterds in terms of screen time.

What is it with people looking for the next big thing out of France anyway, granted there is loads of talent there but none of them have what it takes to be in the light of La Binoche or Catherine Deneueve!!!!

And besides I much prefer the very inderrated Deborah Francois and Fanny Valette.

John T said...

Nat, HP6 is being composed by Nicholas Hooper, not John Williams (which likely means it moves down in your rankings)

Logan D said...

Even if Broken embraces fails this year I can't see the Academy not nominating the score of Alberto Iglesias, is really one of his best works and catchy. Also I wonder if Dorian Gray and Sherlock Holmes could be nominated for Art Direction and Costume Design with The wolf man? Wouldn't be fantastic?

Unknown said...

I don't know how wise it is to leave Sacha Baron Cohen out of any consideration - not even an outside shot mention - for Bruno. Early reports are awesome, plenty say that he tops Borat, and that one earned him a Golden Globe, an Oscar nom for Adapted Screenplay plus the second highest amount of wins at Lead Actor at the awards season, right behind Forest Whittaker. I agree that lighting doesn't usually hit twice, but is the "even better" buzz what makes me dizzy. Certainly, there could be a feel of "snub" out there...

Daniel T said...

well well see i have the inglorious basterds script and shutter island script, i will read them , and tell u guys what i think.

No Bad Movies said...


Supporting Actress (
Adapted Screenplay
Art Direction
Costume Design
Sound Editing

( 11 )


Art Direction
Sound Editing
Sound Mixing

( 7 )

Shutter Island

Supporting Actor ( Kingsley )
Costume Design

( 7 )

Movie Luva said...

I can see Nine getting that many. You have to take in consideration what other films would rival it for the most nominations ? It's one of those films where every category is represented well, and as was said before, not just the talent in front of the camera are Oscar winners and nominees, the techincal crew as well.

But moviefreak, you forgot probably the only lock for Shutter Island, and that is an Adapted Screenplay nod. I loved the book, just as I did Lehane's Gone Baby Gone and Mysatic River. The Given Day ( newest ) a good read as well. Sam Raimi to direct down the road.

Amir said...

do you think robert downey jr. stands the smallest chance of getting nominated for sherlock holmes?
or if the movie can win anything in general?
(i saw it on your costume design list only!)

i kinda hope it turns out to be a good movie just because i love sherlock holmes.