Monday, November 23, 2009

The Oscar Winds Are Blowing...

I've worked hard over the years to insure that this is more than just an Oscar blog. There's lot of love for movies outside of the film year we're living in. But... but... it's awfully hard to resist the "All Oscars! All the Time!" siren song that starts wailing through every film industry speaker when Thanksgiving approaches. So I figured I'd finish revising the Oscar pages. There's more soon, particularly in regards to the foreign, animated, documentary and costume races, but for now there are tweaks. Here's the index of predictions.

I've gained faith in Nine (more on that once the embargo breaks) and I've lost some faith in Invictus and The Lovely Bones (generally speaking, I'm suspicious of the annual films that hide) but I've curiously regained a little for Avatar which climbs the charts in a few areas and which remains the film I'm predicting as having the highest nomination count without a corresponding Best Picture bid. Even if it's great -- and James Cameron's name augurs well for that -- it's still a sci-fi picture. Having had a few conversations with industry folks (including AMPAS members) over the past week I'm starting to think I've underestimated A Serious Man which is Avatar's inverse prediction wise (i.e. the projected Picture nominee with the least amount of nominations). And it may mean nothing but one voting producer and his wife that I chatted with were both nuts for Sam Rockwell in Moon. Who knew? Not that producers can nominate actors, but I thought it was interesting nonetheless.

As ever the Golden Globes and the NBR have a lot of power to set the tone IF (and only if) they go with anyone that's not already a sure thing or give an obvious cold shoulder to someone who is. Can't wait to see what happens next...



Glenn Dunks said...

Is it a coincidence that all the best actress nominees are looking downwards and the Helen Mirren is all "LOOK AT ME!"?

This is probably the first time I don't want Pixar's movie to get nominated for Picture and Screenplay. My main fault with the film was the screenplay. I can't begrudge them a nomination, but I'd be disappointed if their first came for one of their weakest (still, their weakest is high art compared to others).

Julian Stark said...

Interesting choice with Mackie in Supporting Actor and In the Loop for a Screenplay nomination...

Glenn - Lol about the actress thing. I just got that

Anonymous said...

hey, on the directors' page, you got the pics of James Cameron and Lone Scherfig swapped :)

Nigel said...

Apart from a swag of nominations for Inglourious Basterds and (500) Days of Summer, my one Oscar wish this year is a nomination for Sam Rockwell in Moon. Amazing performance.


glenn & julian -- it was purposeful :) i'm always purposeful.

John T said...

I'm starting to think, considering the buzz and the weakness of the fifth slot in the race, that Best Actress may well feature Sandra Bullock. She's a major movie star having a major year (she's Box Office gold in the middle of a recession), and she's never been nominated. She won't win (that'll be up to Sidibe, Mulligan, and Streep), but she'll guarantee a bunch of press and she's "paid her dues." Many will think it's time.

MRRIPLEY said...

I agree about Bullock.

Apparently the trailer make sit look like hallmark but it is not.

Victor S said...

If In the Loop wasn't adapted it would be sure nomination in the weak original screenplay field. God, it could even win! But unfortunatly in Adapted its chances are not great - looks like to me like the kind of film the WGA nominates and the Oscar snubs.

And as time passes I'm thinking more and more that an Original Screenplay nomination for The Hangover isn't something impossible. WGA is going there (they always nominate a comedy - 40-year-old virgin, knocked up, burn after reading), so maybe this can be the year that a comedy gets in at the Oscars.

Bill_the_Bear said...

Nat, in the Best Picture category, you've left the text for "The Lovely Bones" in the column for "A Serious Man."

Andrea said...

Agree about everyone on your list, except for Freeman. He looks nothing special from the trailer, and I have a feeling I'm not the only one suffering from foreign-leader-accent fatigue. I so wish Matt Damon would be nominated in his stead.

And oh please, none for 500 Days. Just saw it, was cute but frightfully self-conscious and mechanical. Does not deserve any fuss at all, except for at the Indie Awards perhaps.

AD said...

I'm really hoping Sandra can get a nod. But I'm not going to get my hopes up because I don't want to be disappointed.

Nathaniel, you have both Ellen Page and Zooey D. as possibilities for the Best Comedy/musical actress nods. Do you think that Ellen has a chance? Would the globes honor Zooey because 500 Days was really successful,or would they nominate Ellen,who had a great performance, even though the movie didn't do well. Will the globes want to nominate Whip It for something to honor Drew Barrymore for both that and Grey Gardens?? I don't know,I guess we'll have to wait and see...

Julian Stark said...

AD - Wow. You have a really interesting point concerning Barrymore. She's probably winning Miniseries/TV Movie Actress for Grey Gardens, but about Whip It...

Barbra Streisand won the Globe for Best Director for her directorial debut Yentl, despite having no shot at the Oscars AT ALL...


Anonymous said...

I hope Ben Foster and Sam Rockwell will get more buzz. Maybe Sam's role in Everybody's Fine can help him.

In regards to all the "Whip It" adoration, I have to say I don't think i've ever seen a movie get questioned and talked about so much about why it didn't do well,which is very interesting. I don't know how many articles I've read that questioned why Whip It flopped. Maybe this will create sympathy for Drew and her movie with awards voters,but I doubt it. There are just some good movies that have to go unrecognized.

AD said...

Julian Stark- Yeah it is interesting. The globes have honored actors for both TV and Movies on the same night before. They did it with Emily Blunt in 2007. She won for Gideon's Daughter,and was nominated for The Devil Wears Prada. I'm just thinking that since Drew has the Barrymore name, that maybe the globes will want to honor her for really doing good work this year and beginning to reach for the success that her family members have had.

Michael B. said...

Nathaniel, I don't know if you've heard but there is a new nominating rule at the Oscars. Basically it's people who have been nominated in other categories are able to vote in the category they were nominated for.

So Warren Beatty can vote for Actor, Director, Screenplays and Pictures.

Anonymous said...

I can see you weren't that excited about brothers, not a single nomination. Was it that bad or is it just not an academy movie?

Michael B. said...

Oh and Avatar is going to lose a lot of buzz because NBR and other critics awards will not be able to see if before they vote, so that means it won't get any mention from them. I don't know if the HFPA will even see it.


Michael, i approve of this rule. but it doesn't change that most people can still only vote on 1 or 2 categories.

warren beatty should be able to vote on everything! :)

Lara said...

Nathaniel, what grade would you give (did you gave?) "The Hurt Locker"?
I, too, think that Meryl is on her third win and I am happy with that but the one I really, really hope for is Best Director for Kathryn Bigelow. I haven't seen THL yet (unfortunately, I blinked and missed it in the cinema and since summer there haven't been any screening) but if it is as good as all the reviews say it is it or nearly as good as Near Dark it would be deserved. Those vampires would kick some Twilight ass.
And you've switched Mackie's and Damon's text on the Supporting Actor predictions.

Amir said...

maybe it's just me,
but i don't see michael hoffman having a better shot than peter jackson at a nomination for best director. i guess we can sort that out when the films actually come out.

Nigel, i agree with you a hundred percent. Sam Rockwell was birlliant and definitely deserves a nomination.

Towelie said...

I can't believe Ponyo won't get nominated to give its place to the mediocre Monsters vs Aliens or the average Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. As for Princess and the Frog, I haven't seen it but I'm expecting more faggotry from Disney, plain and simple.

Robert said...

I kinda figured out what's been troubling me about Nine. So much of it looks just like Chicago. The costuming, the artificiality of the music numbers (which worked great for Chicago I admit) but it's making Marshall feel a bit like a 1-trick pony.

I still look forward to it though.


Lara A- on the Hurt Locker for me. It's as good as they say... though in some ways it takes awhile to sink in how good. It definitely lingers.

Robert people who don't like Nine will definitely gripe about this.

Towelie "faggotry"? please to explain. Because depending on who is using the word...

Amir well, I've seen THE LAST STATION and if it had a better campaign, I could've seen it blowing up with Oscar. I have no idea why SPC is kinda sleeping on it, because it definitely plays.

Dorian said...

Saw "Precious" over the weekend. Was blown away by Mo'Nique (jaw-dropping great) and Gabby (what a debut), but Lee Daniels' direction was a hot mess, and I'd be pretty disappointed if he ends up being nominated for it (though he will br just for the Academy history bulletin that the media's going to plaster everywhere that he'll be the second African-American ever nodded in best director, and he did manage to pull out these high-level performances out of the most unexpected of people). The preferential voting has me concerned (on a popular vote, I think that "Precious" could have nailed BP as the "timely" choice), and now, I think it'll be a tougher hurdle to win BP. Not impossible, b/c who knows how voters will rally for this film in the end, but I think if we're looking at a "Precious" vs. "Up in the Air" battle and "Up in the Air" is deemed too light, then "Precious" could certainly benefit from that. Otherwise, "Up in the Air" could be an easy consensus choice.


not only the second african american but the first gay african american -- though not the first gay nominee of course, 2002 be swimmin' with them ;)

Paul Outlaw said...

After seeing (and enjoying) Up in the Air this weekend, I am at a loss to understand how it is being considered Best Picture material, given what else is out there this year. It's a nice flick with some very snappy dialogue, but compared to Up in the Air, Michael Clayton looks like Z.

Glenn said...

Disney swims in faggotry?

Anonymous said...

Nat - huge kiss and hug for including Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie for The Hurt Locker, now if only things do work out for them.

I would love to see Sandra Bulloc get nominated she is so charming and modest about her Oscar chances EVER and she looked pretty good in the trailer I think she might just be the one to overthrow Cornish rather than Cotillard.

I have a bad feeling about Nine to be honest, and I do think people are underestimating Avatar.

Towelie said...

Nat, I'm not sure what do you want me to explain. If it's about the word "faggotry":
Fagget, often shortened to fag, has been used in the English language since the 16th century. Its original meaning was an old or unpleasant woman. Fagget was later defined as a bundle of sticks. In the 19th century a fagget gatherer was someone who made a living gathering firewood. Later, the term fag was defined as any awkward bundle to be carried and was often used as an insult to the elderly, as in calling them baggage.
Later it was used as homessexual insult.

I, however, didn't intend to use it that way, as I'm in no way homophobic and it's not that meaning I give to that word. My intention was merely to use it as "uninteresting crap" - in my opinion, regarding to Disney's work.

Silencio said...

Just noticed that Mackie's and Damon's descriptions were switched.

Anonymous said...

My nominees for Best Picture (and Director) are:

1. Precious-the only film this year with an Oscar formula is my #4, which I'm not feeling yet. Precious is out, it's getting fully deserved raves, and it seems ready to dominate.
2. Up in the Air-seems like a great film, but it's not out and it's too funny looking. Oscar hates comedies, remember?
3. The Hurt Locker-Not big enough to win, but will be major competition. It's Iraq, so it's out, but will provide competition.
4. Invictus-it has the Oscar formula, but we know very little about it. We need more!
5. Bright Star-this is where the films go down in quality. Bright Star doesn't seem to be remembered by enough people.
6. An Education-mostly getting acting praise, not film praise.
7. A Serious Man-its not a great Coen Bros. film, but still worth a nod.
8. Nine-not buying the hype here. It could pull an Amelia and flop.
9. Lovely Bones-I'm waiting for all the reviews to come in. We'll see.
10. I don't know what the last spot will be. Up is not as good as WALLE, so no nom (from me). Avatar-we'll have to see. Inglourious Basterds-it's Tarantino, he never gets enough noms. You get the idea-we'll just have to see.

For the record, this is going to be one of those years where Best Picture and Best Director are from the same film. I can tell.

Anonymous said...

All righty, now it's time for my Best Actor picks. This looks like a weak category, sorry people.

1. Morgan Freeman for Invictus-self-explanatory.
2. George Clooney for Up in the Air-He just won, so I'm up in the air (bad pun) on this one.
3. Jeremy Renner for Hurt Locker-Hurt Locker is the most nominated with no wins film.
4. Matt Damon for The Informant-big year for Damon, but this film's been forgotten.
5. Colin Firth for A Single Man-Sean Penn just won for being a gay guy. Also, might be confused with A Serious Man (and Up will be confused with Up in the Air)
6. Chris Plummer for Last Station-just not as good as other performers.
7. DDL for Nine-can he sing?
8. Viggo M. for The Road-getting raves, but not enough.
9. Ben W. for Bright Star-I dunno. Just felt like adding him.
10. Michael S. for A Serious Man-looks more like a critical rave performance than an Oscar winner.

Anonymous said...

Now for Best Actress.
1. Carey Mulligan for An Education-she's the most raved over, but Gabby Sibide is on the rise.
2. Gabdourey Sibide for Precious-great job, but not a traditional Oscar winner.
3. Meryl Streep for Julie and Julia-it's Streep. Even if she sucked, that's enough.
4. Helen Mirren in Love Ranch-well, it's Mirren. Safe.
5. Abbie Cornish in Bright Star-she's been bumped around a lot.
6. Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side-good performance. But All About Steve may hurt her.
7. Vera Farmiga for Up in the Air-she might be Supporting. Also, not as good as the Top 3, who are definatly going to be the canditates.
8. Saoirse Ronan for Lovely Bones-why not? She seems to be popular.
9. Audrey Tatou in Coco Before Chanel-yeah, I don't think so.
10. Penelope Cruz in Broken Embraces-she just won, plus Nine seems bigger.

I don't know why people insist that Swank will get a nod for Amelia. The Top 3, maybe 4 are the only ones with a shot.

Anonymous said...

Supporting Actor time.

1. Cristoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds-he deserves it, but Alfred Molina is coming after him.
2. Alfred Molina for An Education-sigh, why can't Waltz have a lock on this.
3. Stanley Tucci in Lovely Bones-seems very evil, which they love in Supporting.
4. Matt Damon in Invictus-I'm waiting.
5. Anthony Mackie in The Hurt Locker-I don't see him winning. But a nomination, yes.
6. Robert Duvall in The Road-Viggo seems to get all the attention.
7. Paul Schneider in Bright Star-Bright Star and Hurt Locker are going to keep losing.
8. Richard Kind in A Serious Man-eh, why not.
9. James McAvoy in The Last Station-he never gets nominated, now's the time.
10. Steve Martin for It's Complicated-this is a very weak category.

Yeah, weak category. It's going to be Waltz or Molina or Tucci.

Anonymous said...

And now my favorite category this year-Supporting Actress.

1. Mo'nique in Precious-please don't diss the Academy, Mo'nique. Please don't. She NEEDS this award.
2-3. Judi Dench and Penelope Cruz in Nine-with Cotillard aiming for Lead, internal conflict time.
4. Anna Kendrick for Up in the Air-too funny, plus she's in (shudder) Twilight and New Moon. Goodbye.
5. Julianne Moore in A Single Man-she's due, but this isn't the year.
6. Susan Sarandon for Lovely Bones-she's popular with the Academy, so...
7. Rachel Weisz for Lovely Bones-not as good as Moore from the looks of things.
8. Mariah Carey in Precious-she won't win no matter what, since Mo'nique is way better. Also, they might remember Glitter.
9. Melanie Laurent in Inglourious Basterds-she isn't campaigning, and isn't remembered.
10. Sigourney Weaver for Avatar-she's due.

Please let Mo'nique win!

Anonymous said...

Now for Screenplay. Once again, Adpated Screenplay has more competition.

Adapted Screenplay:
1. Precious (see the full title)
2. Up in the Air (short story)
3. Invictus (I just know it's Adapted, but not what from)
4. An Education (short story)
5. Lovely Bones (book)

Original Screenplay:
1. A Serious Man
2. Hurt Locker (it's Iraq, so no wins)
3. Bright Star
4. Up
5. (500) Days of Summer

Anonymous said...

Now for the 3 semi-minor categories:
1. Up-it's Pixar, so lock
2. Ponyo-why is this off? It's genius.
3. Coraline-very early release, but great.
4. Princess and the Frog-good but not great
5. Fantastic Mr. Fox-fun, but not a winner.

1. The Cove-c'mon, it's genius
2. Capitalism a Love Story-not feeling it
3. Food Inc-no competition anymore
4. Anvil The Story of Anvil-eh.
5. It Might Get Loud-hm.

Foreign (I hope we don't have a repeat of the Pan's Labyrinth incident):
1. The White Ribbon-duh.
2. Un Prophete-losing steam
3. Baaria-also losing steam
4. About Elly-why not?
5. Samson and Delilah-eh.