Friday, November 19, 2010

Oscar Updates: Picture, Directors, Actresses, Animated Features

I'm guessing that the Best Picture category has 7 very solid bets now: The Social Network, The King's Speech, 127 Hours, The Kids Are All Right, Toy Story 3, The Fighter and Inception)  But those last 3 spots could be quite volatile considering so many of the films in question haven't properly opened and could be boosted or shunned by next month's avalanche of top ten lists & precursor prizes. So here's a poll for you.

Perhaps the wisdom of crowds can clear up the fog.

Over in the Best Actress category, I don't think it's as "deep" in terms of competition as some do and I explain why over there. It'd be fun to have greats like Tilda & Michelle in more of the conversation, but unless precursors bite, they're both doomed (for this year at least). I see only 7 women truly in play for shortlisting. How is that 'deep?' The following 5 women totally need precursors to have any hope of dislodging someone in the top 7.

Don't you think?

Also updated: Best Director (is this lineup too "hip?"), Best Foreign Film (will Turkey get its first nomination?),  Best Supporting Actress (I'm really starting to worry for Jacki Weaver. Are they watching those screeners? And will the precursors give AMPAS full speed ahead on both ladies in The Fighter?), Best Animated and Documentary Features (the official finalists list).


Scott said...

You have Swank and McAdams above Watts, Williams and Swinton? Really? While none of the last three are all that likely I can imagine paths to nominations for them - something I can't see with Swank and McAdams.


well... with McAdams i was just trying to make a point (about romantic comedy). Swank has the real person bio thing going for her and Oscar voters like that (and her) a whole helluva lot more than any other carbon based life forms do. ;)

Maybe I'm underestimating Watts but I think Swinton and Williams are lost causes because the films are probably going to be too obscure / divisive for voters (even though both actresses are divine.)

maybe i'm underestimating Oscar voters though?

Robert said...

That Best Actress lineup you have looks strong but unbelievably sad. I wonder if someone from a rom-com or doing a more "tough as nails" uplifting performance can sneak in.

As for the directors... I dunno I still think Anne Thompson makes a good point when she says you have to at least be likable and when you discount the drunks, racists and antisemites, who in Hollywood is less liked on a professional level than David O Russell?

As for Best Picture, I voted for True Grit and Another Year, cause I think in a field of 10, passionate auteur-love will help and I surprised myself by voting for The Town... perhaps we've been misjudging the concept of the "Blind Side" slot. Perhaps it doesn't have to be uplifting, just a surprise hit. Also they love comebacks and actors who direct.

Scott said...

Oh I doubt you are underestimating Oscar voters, and I think you are probably right. I could just still see a world in which Swinton or Williams busts through on the strength of critics prizes. But that's a very unlikely circumstance of course. On the whole I think your list is on target.

Though I do wonder about Watts - that performance seems to be getting a lot of praise and as more people talk about Penn, I wonder if that might not raise her chances.

Jake D said...

Whoa whoa whoa. Director is Fincher vs. Nolan? I really don't think the Academy is anywhere close to as entranced with Nolan as the rest of the world- I mean, even if the BP nom for Dark Knight wasn't going to happen, the directors still could have voted for him over Daldry or even Howard. But they didn't.

I really don't even know that Inception is going to be in the Top 5- and I think Nolan is definitely not even a lock for a director nom. And a win? They'd give it to Fincher way before Nolan--right? At least there's demonstrated respect for Fincher. Nolan might be overdue--but only for a nomination.


Jake D -- *I* agree with you that Nolan is nowhere close to overdue for a win. But the rest of the world seems to think he should have 3 or 4 Oscars by now. Sometimes mass love convinces the academy to make the leap.

and though it was a bit odd that he missed the director spot for both Memento and The Dark Knight (given the precursor attention), methinks he came awfully close to a nomination both times. We can't ever know who was in 6th place but snubs don't always indicate that they don't like you. Just that they didnt' like you *as much*

i may be wrong ;)

Rebecca said...

So, what's the deal with Halle Berry in the best actress race? I keep on reading about this 'Frankie and Alice', but some say it qualified for 2009 so she can't be nominated. I personally think that even if it does qualify, she doesn't have much chance - she just seems like one of those winners that they don't really care about inviting back.

Rebecca said...

Also, the buzz for '127 Hours' for best pic feels false to me. Maybe with the ten-wide field. But it feels more and more like a 'single man' or 'wrestler' type deal with it's passionate followers, but only getting in for acting in the end.

Anonymous said...

Ebert already endorsed Tilda Swinton, but then that really helped Sally Hawkins in 2008. I'd put her on number 6 but you're right about her performance and film being divisive.

Or maybe if the Academy could support Williams in a way that they're also giving the censors the finger. And if they're not doing it now, maybe we could brainwash them into doing so...?

Volvagia said...

Daldry would probably be the preferable change as opposed to Howard. Why? Daldry is close to tying Kubrick's record for consecutive films nominated for Best Director: 4 for K (Dr. Strangelove, 2001, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon), 3 for D (Billy Elliot, The Hours, The Reader). If he ties Kubrick, that's it, the Academy just can't be serious. (Breaking that record should be reserved for the new daring, once in a gen iconoclast: Aronofsky), once in a gen iconoclast. (Kubrick should have an unbeatable record of 9 in a row: Start at Paths of Glory, end at Full Metal Jacket. Daldry should only have, at most, a nomination for Billy Elliot.)

dinasztie said...

I think that Amy Adams is going to take it. It's her time. However, I'm not sure about Bening. Portman gets so much praise and people don't talk about Bening that much even though she's terrific in the movie and should win.

Brady said...

I think the passionate supporters of BLACK SWAN are going to far outweigh the dissenters - it may be a love or hate it experience, but I don't think its going to divide as strongly as MOULIN ROUGE which had no problem scoring a Best Picture nomination. I can't imagine BLACK SWAN not getting into the top ten. Its actually unthinkable to me.

filmfan said...

Where's Halle Berry? I think she's missing from the actress top 10, she has a better chance than McAdams or Swank as of now.


dinasztie -- but WHO are these people talking about Portman vs. talking about Bening?

Portman may well be leading but I get the feeling that the biggest problem we all have (and i include myself here) in Oscar predictions each year is that we take internet chatter so seriously as THE indicator. The internet is a different set of voices than the people who vote on Oscars. I try to remind myself of this all the time though i sometimes forget. It's easy to remember when it comes to the superhero movies and Harry Potter and things (i.e. the fans and the internet geek out on those things WAY more than Oscar types) but it's less easy to remember the aesthetic gaps in other genres.

Brady -- i'm finally seeing the film (in a few days) and i hope to love it. and maybe you're right. you do have to win #1 votes to get nominated.

Aaron said...

I'm not entirely sold on The Fighter yet...from what I gathered, the advanced screenings were good, but I didn't hear any "OH MY GOD" enthused raves, per se...

...I think Another Year and Black Swan will make it, as well as True Grit...but I would also take out The Fighter and put in The Way Back...and I can't remember if you have Inception in your top pics, but I'd say it's a pretty good bet for best picture too (even though it won't win by any stretch of the imagination).

Tom said...

I think the critics can influence the nominations this year in at least two ways:

1) If Ryan Gosling wins one of the classy three (NY, LA, National) -- I think he's far more likely there than Firth, and will mostly be fighting Franco -- it could persuade enough Oscar voters to watch the film that they swing Michele Williams' way as well

2) If Leslie Manville wins more than one SUPPORTING prize, it could compel SPC to change its campaign strategy

I also don't think Nolan is as in for director as the blogoshpere believes. They seem to be mostly repeating their Dark Knight delusion. Inception as a non-franchise, non-comic book-derived effort will have a slight edge Dark Knight did not, but it's still summer pop entertainment, not Academy fodder. The rule change will give it a best picture nod, but best director is still a stretch


Tom -- i hear your line of reasoning on Gosling & Inception, but FIRTH is all but locked up. He'd be the last person to drop away for Gosling. Many people think he's headed for the actual win. And it always helps to be have the one-two punch of consecutive nominations.


and why are there only 212 votes on the poll. I get so confused that so few people vote. Voting is easy. just pick three titles. CLICK. you're done!

john said...

Regarding Jackie Weaver being unable to campaign I think someone has hatched some OTT plan since Weaver was not a previously announced cast member of Vanya. For the sake of 'confidentiality' i'll name this person X. X runs the theatre the play is being performed at, therefore X effectively hired her, perhaps with the knowledge that Weaver was getting awards buzz, thereby derailing her oscar dream by hiring her, since if Weaver were to win she'd snatch X's Aussie exclusivity on the Supporting Actress Oscar. Yeah, i know it sounds a little far fetched but it does make sense.

cal roth said...

Yeah, what about Berry? They love to show they weren't wrong, she produced the movie, the role is super baity...

TOM said...

Nathaniel, you misread me on Firth. No one doubts he's the favorite to win the Oscar. I'm saying that, outside of NBR, he's not the sort to win the classic critics' prizes. I see Franco and Gosling as more likely to win them.

pasifauna said...

Hey Nathaniel, thanks for contributing the buzz for Bal. I am from Turkey and although I am far away from being a nationalist; I would love to see a Turkish movie in the line-up. And the director is a great director with a very mature cinematic language and a very fresh vision. Oh, BTW, it also has the Golden Berlin Bear, may be it can help.

Glenn said...

"Yeah, what about Berry? They love to show they weren't wrong, she produced the movie, the role is super baity..."

Really? Nathaniel has that stat he brings out every now and again to prove that they don't.

Danielle said...

I don't think The Fighter should be included in the "seven safe" group. It's gotten positive reactions but it seems almost backhanded - critics have readily admitted the corny nature of the whole thing.

SAFE: King's Speech, Social Network, 127 Hours, Inception, Toy Story 3, The Kids Are All Right

The last four could be among any of those you posted in the chart. I think Black Swan will get enough support to get in the top 10, with Another Year, True Grit, and Rabbit Hole rounding it out.

I agree with your top 7 for ACTRESS, but I have to say that I think Williams will end up surprising - Weistein is ready to push the two actors, and I think the movie is already starting to have a good following. Plus the NC-17 rating/discussion has kept Blue Valentine in the media. I don't think anyone outside of those 8 have a chance.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS... uhhhh. Helena Bonham-Carter is only the safe one at this point, but I think Weist, Weaver, and Richardson will eventually "stick." That's skewing awfully older, so maybe Adams/Steinfeld will balance that out, but I feel like Leo is the safer bet with The Fighter.

cal roth said...

@Glenn That stat doesn't translate to winners, I think, only to nominees.

Anonymous said...

Nathaniel, I'm suprised you have yet discuss Halle Berry! She has ben significant Oscar Buzz for her performance in Frankie and Alice.

cal roth said...

Ok, I've just checked all best actress. 83 winners (there is a tie) and only 12 ones won for their single nomination. Winners do come back.

Brooooooke said...

How come there's no love for Noomi Rapace. I wouldn't put her in my Top 10, but i would like to see her getting some love cos she's still a possibility (I think).

Anyway what im loving about this year is that it looks like this years Golden Globe race for Best Actress Comedy/Musical is gonna be just as good as Drama.

Assuming they go with the obvious, it looks like we'll have Moore, Bening, Hawkins, Hathaway, and manville, if they consider Another year a comedy, while in the drama catagory we have Portman, Kidman, and lawrence, while maybe swank, or swinton get in, or manville if Another year is considered to be drama.

Either way its an unusually good year for good performances in comedy movies. Usually theres's two or three good performances, then a couple of fillers (like last year, Sandra bullock for the proposal...really?)

Anywayz for the oscars im rooting for for the list u have there, cept add in hawkins, and move manville to supporting ( i really really want to see Lawrence get in)

Cinesnatch said...

Watts delivered a career best performance. The film isn't doing well, but I think she has a shot over the already over-rewarded Swank (surely the Academy thinks so, or why else wasn't she nominated for Amelia?), as well a McAdams, who unfortunately for actress-sexuals (IMO), didn't open very big with MG.

I agree with Swinton's IAL being too obscure for a nom. If they didn't nominate her for Julia, they ain't nominating her for IAL, which I think was an inferior performance to Julia.

Williams on the other hand is probably accruing praise along with Gosling outside of their performances with the whole NC-17 debacle. I would say she had a better shot than Watt, Swank, McAdams or Swinton.

Buzz apparently is dying out for Hathaway. If LAOD isn't a hit, that it ain't gonna help. I'm going to assume LAOD is a dud. I'd rather set my expectations low, so America surprises me and supports a film featuring a leading lady in a dramatic comedy.

I think DOR will have a hard time getting nominated for director. But, if Leigh does, than AY is in.

Cinesnatch said...

... and I still think The Town has a fighting irish chance at the top 10. Though, there really aren't any other categories that I can think of off the top of my head that it really has a chance at.

... So maybe not!

Manuel said...

Im stunned that Olivia Williams is so easily forgotten. Her turn in The Ghost Whisperer is incredible. I hope that she will be rewarded in the supporting atress cathegory. Also where is the Noomi Rapace love as Lisbeth Salander?

Nathaniel: when will the award circus start in the US? December the 1st?

Anonymous said...

How is The Fighter safe?


Manuel -- depends on how you define it. But the NBR announces on December 2nd and that used to be widely considered the beginning. But since the number of awards groups and the attention paid to them keeps rising every decade, it's hard to really say.

Andrew R. said...

OK. Here we go.

PICTURE: I don't think Fighter's locked in, but I do have it in my predictions. I rank True Grit above it. The other 2 are Another Year and Black Swan. I am not confident in either, but I also have doubts about the rest.

DIRECTOR: I put the Coens in instead of Russell.

ACTRESS: Bening and Portman are safe. I'll say Kidman, Lawrence, and Hawkins for the rest. Manville's BIFA nod in Supporting is huge.

S. ACTRESS: Bonham-Carter is probably doing a Bellatrix Lestrange laugh right now. (I saw HP7:1 yesterday-very good.) My other picks are Wiest, Richardson, Steinfeld and Manville.

I don't see The Fighter's women making it. Weaver's not in the race anymore, Nate-it's too little-known a film. Hershey was never in it. Pike doesn't have much to work with, and Spacek is just plain out.

But I do think you should give Ronan and Cotillard a boost. Way Back's momentum is growing, and Inception is still a strong force.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who thinks voters are still feeling guilty about failing to nominate either of Marion Cotillard's terrific performances from last year?

When you also consider the fact that she stars in the year's biggest blockbuster, gave arguably the best performance in the film and is competing in a very weak category, a make-up nod doesn't seem so far-fetched.

Anonymous said...

My predictions:


The Top Seven: The Social Network, The King's Speech, Inception, Toy story 3, 127 Hours, The Kids are all Right and True Grit

The other three between: Black Swan, Another Year, Made in Dagenham, The Way Back, The Town, Winter's Bone and The Fighter. Right now I choose: The Town, Another Year and The Way Back. I hope for The Ghost Writer

1. David Fincher
2. Peter Weir
3. Christopher Nolan
4. Joel Coen & ethan Coen
5. Danny Boyle


SURE BETS: Annette Bening, Natalie Portman and Jennifer Lawrence

British Vote: Between Sally Hawkins and Lesley Manville. If Manville is beloved by American critics she's in, but if MID is a hit Hawkins is in.

Return Nominee / Winner:

-Nicole Kidman: She has good ink by her performance, but I don't trust yet. Also the film itself received polarized response.
-Gwyneth Paltrow: Bad HFPA position. Contradictions between the test screeners. So bye bye...
-Hilary Swank: Rockwell's best of the show. Also maybe she won a lot?
-Naomi Watts: Good but not great reaction.
-Halle Berry: Personally, I think she has the edge. Mental illness, real character, race spot, "comeback" effect... She's my fifth option.
-Anne Hathaway: LAOD needs to be a real hit.


Safe bet: Helena Bonham Carter

Possiblity: Melissa Leo

Filler: Marion Cotillard: I agree with badmofo.

The other two: Richardson, Scott Thomas, Steinfeld, Weaver, Williams, Elise... I vote for Steinfeld and Richardson.

BTW, NAth: SPC made the announcement that Sissy Spacek will compete in the Leading Category according sources in Awards Daily