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84th Annual Academy Award Predictions

February 26, 2012 Leave a comment

The Oscars are here and time for another night round of extreme disappointment. “The Artist” is gonna sweep all the major categories and the only place where there will be any sort of suspense is in the below the line races. My predictions are in bold, and like Clint Eastwood said in “Unforgiven,” “deserves got nothing to do with it.”

Best Picture
“The Artist”
“The Descendants”
“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
“Hugo”
“Midnight in Paris”
“The Help”
“Moneyball”
“War Horse”
“The Tree of Life”

I can’t wait till after Sunday so I never have to hear about “The Artist” again.

Best Actor
Demian Bichir, “A Better Life”
George Clooney, “The Descendants”
Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”
Gary Oldman, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
Brad Pitt, “Moneyball”

The most broad, and least subtle of the 5 will win here. I would love to see an Oldman win.

Best Actress
Glenn Close, “Albert Nobbs”
Viola Davis, “The Help”
Rooney Mara, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”
Michelle Williams, “My Week With Marilyn”

Streep could still win here, but Davis is in a very popular movie and that will carry here over the top.

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh, “My Week With Marilyn”
Jonah Hill, “Moneyball”
Nick Nolte, “Warrior”
Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”
Max Von Sydow, “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

Plummer’s won every single supporting actor award out there. Another veteran actor, Von Sydow, could still eke out a surprise.

Best Supporting Actress
Berenice Bejo, “The Artist”
Jessica Chastain, “The Help”
Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids”
Janet McTeer, “Albert Nobbs”
Octavia Spencer, “The Help”

Like Plummer, Spencer has won just about every supporting actress award out there.

Best Director
Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”
Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”
Terrence Malick, “The Tree of Life”
Alexander Payne, “The Descendants”
Martin Scorsese, “Hugo”

This is madness that the director of “The Artist” would win a BEST DIRECTOR award when up against the other 4. Madness.

Best Original Screenplay
Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”
JC Chandor, “Margin Call”
Asghar Farhadi, “A Separation”
Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”
Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, “Bridesmaids”

The madness will continues and I will go out on a limb and say Hazan – whatever, will win, stealing it from the heavy favorite, Woody Allen. “A Separation” could pull out a surprise win here.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxton, Jim Rash, “The Descendants”
John Logan, “Hugo”
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon, “The Ides of March”
Aaron Sorkin, Steven Zaillian, “Moneyball”
Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughn, “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”

“The Descendants” won the WGA award, and that is a pretty good predictor of who win the Oscar.

Best Animated Feature
“A Cat In Paris”
“Chico & Rita”
“Kung Fu Panda 2”
“Puss in Boots”
Rango

I loved “Rango” and I haven’t seen the other 4, so who cares.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Bullhead (Belgium)
Footnote (Israel)
In Darkness (Poland)
Monsieur Lazhar (Canada)
A Separation (Iran)

The favorite is “A Separation,” but this is a category where an upset isn’t uncommon.

Best Original Score
“The Adventures of Tintin,” John Williams
“The Artist,” Ludovic Bource
“Hugo,” Howard Shore
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” Alberto Iglesias
“War Horse,” John Williams

It will win because of the usage of the great Bernard Herrmann score from “Vertigo.” Can anyone out there really remember anything about the music other than Hermann’s score?

Best Original Song
“Man or Muppet,” The Muppets; Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
“Real in Rio,” Rio; Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown, Lyric by Siedah Garrett

They really should just eliminate this category if all they could come up with is two nominees. I could still see “Real in Rio” pulling off a win.

Best Achievement in Art Direction
“The Artist”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”
“Hugo”
“Midnight in Paris”
“War Horse”

“Hugo” has to win something and this would be a justly deserved victory.

Best Achievement in Cinematography
“The Artist”
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
“Hugo”
“The Tree of Life”
“War Horse”

“The Tree of Life” won the Cinematography Guild Award, though this category is a crap shoot.

Best Achievement in Costume Design
“Anonymous”
“The Artist”
Hugo
“Jane Eyre”
“W.E.”

I really have no idea who will win here. Fuck it, I’ll go with Hugo.

Best Documentary Feature
“Hell and Back Again”
“If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front”
“Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory”
“Pina”
“Undefeated”

I will go with “Undefeated” because The Weinstein Company sent out the doc to every Oscar voter.

Best Documentary Short Subject
“The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement?”
“God Is the Bigger Elvis”
“Incident in New Baghdad”
“Saving Face”
“The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom”

A majority of the Oscar bloggers are going for this short, so I will go with them.

Best Achievement in Film Editing
“The Artist”
“The Descendants”
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
“Hugo”
“Moneyball”

“The Artist” won the Editor’s guild award, and I think this will match up with its Best Picture win.

Best Achievement in Makeup
“Albert Nobbs”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”
“The Iron Lady”

Everyone seems to be saying that “The Iron Lady” will win, but I’ll go with Harry Potter because this is the last of the series and the Academy will want to give it something.

Best Animated Short Film
Dimanche/Sunday
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
La Luna
A Morning Stroll
Wild Life

Most of the Oscar bloggers are going with this short, so I’ll just follow along.

Best Live Action Short Film
“Pentecost”
“Raju”
“The Shore”
“Time Freak”
“Tuba Atlantic”

See above for my sound reasoning in picking “The Shore.”

Best Achievement in Sound Editing
“Drive”
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
Hugo
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
“War Horse”

I always have a hard time telling the sound categories apart, so I will just go with “Hugo” because of its dominance of nominations. “War Horse” could win here as well.

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
Hugo
“Moneyball”
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
“War Horse”

See above for reasoning.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”
“Hugo”
“Real Steel”
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”

They will give it to Apes for the fantastic visual design of the central character.

Categories: Diatribe, News

2010 in review

January 2, 2011 Leave a comment

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2010. That’s about 31 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 47 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 63 posts. There were 156 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 10mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was December 9th with 289 views. The most popular post that day was AFI Fest 2010 Review: The Fighter.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were imdb.com, twitter.com, pro.imdb.com, boxxet.com, and en.wordpress.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for nine film, precious movie, crazy heart, marion cotillard nine, and roger ebert.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

AFI Fest 2010 Review: The Fighter November 2010

2

Review Roundup: Brothers, A Single Man, Nine January 2010
1 comment

3

Best Lead Performances of 2009 January 2010

4

Top 10 Films of 2009 December 2009
1 comment

5

Best Supporting Performances of 2009 January 2010
1 comment

Categories: News

Golden Globe Nomination Reactions

December 15, 2010 Leave a comment

“The King’s Speech” took home the most Golden Globe nominations with seven. “The Fighter” and “The Social Network” both came in second, with six nominations each.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which are responsible for the Globes, have long been considered a joke because it is made up of 90 foreign journalists, who are not really journalists. A lot of people, including myself, don’t treat the Globes very seriously.

It’s no surprise that “The King’s Speech” led the way in nominations, it’s just the type of film that the Globes would go for. The surprise showing for “The Fighter” could mean that it has a bigger presence in the awards season than I first thought. I was surprised to see Mark Wahlberg and David O. Russell each get a nomination.

The Golden Globes split best picture into a drama and comedy/musical category. “The Kids Are All Right” should easily win the best comedy/musical award. It’s competition, including the terribly reviewed “The Tourist,” really has no shot of winning. I haven’t seen “The Tourist,” but I heard it was a horrible, and the nominations for Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie for their performances in the film, seems like a play for high profile celebrities to attend the event.

I think that “The King’s Speech” will win the best drama award. There is a small chance that “The Social Network” could eak out a victory. I still think that a Social Network loss would not stop its march to the best picture Oscar. Last year, “Avatar” beat “The Hurt Locker,” but we all know how that turned out when Oscar night came.

Some noticeable exclusions from the Golden Globes include “True Grit.” I wouldn’t be too worried about this snub being a forecast for the film’s Oscar chances. I’ve heard speculation that since “True Grit” and “The Fighter” are both from Paramount, the Globes simply threw its weight behind “The Fighter” and that it left nothing for “True Grit.”

Speaking of noticeable exclusions, Robert Duvall didn’t get nominated for “Get Low” and Leonardo DiCaprio was snubbed for both “Shutter Island” and “Inception.” “Winter’s Bone,” and “127 Hours” were also ignored for a best picture nomination.

Other noticeable things that I enjoyed seeing were Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams getting nominated for best actor and actress for “Blue Valentine.” I was also extremely happy to see Jacki Weaver get nominated for her terrific performance in “Animal Kingdom.”

Here is a list of the films nominated for Golden Globes. I’m not listing the TV side because I don’t give a damn. This is a film blog.

Best Picture (Drama)
“Black Swan”
“The Fighter”
“Inception”
“The King’s Speech”
“The Social Network”

Best Picture (Musical/Comedy)
“Alice in Wonderland”
“Burlesque”
“The Kids Are All Right”
“Red”
“The Tourist”

Best Director
Darren Aronofsky, “Black Swan”
David O. Russell, “The Fighter”
Christopher Nolan, “Inception”
Tom Hooper, “The King’s Speech”
David Fincher, “The Social Network”

Best Actor (Drama)
Jesse Eisenberg, “The Social Network”
Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech”
James Franco, “127 Hours”
Ryan Gosling, “Blue Valentine”
Mark Wahlberg, “The Fighter”

Best Actress (Drama)
Halle Berry, “Frankie and Alice”
Nicole Kidman, “Rabbit Hole”
Jennifer Lawrence, “Winter’s Bone”
Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”
Michelle Williams, “Blue Valentine”

Best Actor (Musical/Comedy)
Johnny Depp, “Alice in Wonderland”
Johnny Depp, “The Tourist”
Paul Giamatti, “Barney’s Version”
Jake Gyllenhaal, “Love and Other Drugs”
Kevin Spacey, “Casino Jack”

Best Actress (Musical/Comedy)
Annette Bening, “The Kids Are All Right”
Anne Hathaway, “Love and Other Drugs”
Angelina Jolie, “The Tourist”
Julianne Moore, “The Kids Are All Right”
Emma Stone, “Easy A”

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, “The Fighter”
Michael Douglas, “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”
Andrew Garfield, “The Social Network”
Jeremy Renner, “The Town”
Geoffrey Rush, “The King’s Speech”

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, “The Fighter”
Helena Bonham Carter, “The King’s Speech”
Mila Kunis, “Black Swan”
Melissa Leo, “The Fighter”
Jacki Weaver, “Animal Kingdom”

Best Screenplay
Christopher Nolan, “Inception”
Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg, “The Kids Are All Right”
David Seidler, “The King’s Speech”
Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy, “127 Hours”
Aaron Sorkin, “The Social Network”

Best Foreign Language Film
“Biutiful”
“The Concert”
“The Edge”
“I Am Love”
“In a Better World”

Best Animated Feature
“Despicable Me”
“How to Train Your Dragon”
“The Illusionist”
“Tangled”
“Toy Story 3”

Best Original Score
Danny Elfman, “Alice in Wonderland”
Hans Zimmer, “Inception”
Alexandre Desplat, “The King’s Speech”
A.R. Rahman, “127 Hours”
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, “The Social Network”

Best Original Song
“Bound to You” from “Burlesque”
“You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” from “Burlesque”
“There’s a Place for Us” from “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”
“Coming Home” from “Country Strong”
“I See the Light” from “Tangled”

The Social Network Keeps Racking up the Critics Awards

December 14, 2010 Leave a comment

As I correctly predicted, “The Social Network,” swept the best picture awards from the Los Angeles and New York film critic groups. The film also racked up best picture honors from critics groups in Toronto, San Diego, Boston, Washington D.C. and the Southeastern Film Critics, whatever the hell that group consists of.

All of these critical wins helps propel “The Social Network” to the front-runner position at the Oscars. Last year, “The Hurt Locker” nearly swept all the major film critic awards and that helped it win the best picture Oscar over the highest grossing movie of all time, “Avatar.” The general consensus among award sites was that “The King’s Speech” would win best picture. I still think that “The King’s Speech” will be a formidable contender and it should do well when the Golden Globes are announced. Now that “The Social Network” is racking up these wins, expect a backlash against the film to begin.

Other than “The Social Network” and David Fincher winning the critics awards for picture and director, there isn’t much of a consensus in the other categories. We will have to wait until the Golden Globes and the guild awards announce their winners next year to get a clearer picture of where things stand. Colin Firth is probably the front-runner for best actor. Natalie Portman hasn’t emerged as the front-runner for best actress, and Annette Benning, and “The Kids Are All Right” received a much-needed boost from the New York Film Critics Circle. The best supporting actor contest appears to be a two-way race between Christian Bale from “The Fighter” and Geoffrey Rush from “The King’s Speech.” The best supporting actress contest is a wide open field with Jackie Weaver from “Animal Kingdom,” Hailee Stanfield from “True Grit,” and Amy Adams and Melissa Leo from “The Fighter,” all competing for the Oscar.

This site from Incontention.com is a great resource for keeping up with all the award mania occurring at the moment.

The National Board of Review Likes The Social Network

December 2, 2010 Leave a comment

“The Social Network” was the big winner at The National Board of Review today. It won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The National Board of Review is seen as the “official” start of awards season. The group usually faces criticism because it is made up of people who are not critics. Last year’s winner for Best Picture was “Up in the Air,” but the film fizzled at the Oscars, losing Best Picture to “The Hurt Locker.” In 2007 and 2008, the group awarded Best Picture to “No Country for Old Men” and “Slumdog Millionaire,” both films won the top Oscar.

I’m glad that “The Social Network” won big and I think this could possibly be the start of a string of victories. The New York and Los Angeles film critics announce their award winners on Sunday, and I think there is a strong possibility that “The Social Network” could win Best Picture at both those critics’ groups. I’m still skeptical of calling “The Social Network” the front runner for the Oscars. It’s main competition is “The King’s Speech,” which got shut out of by the Board.

Lesley Manville winning Best Actress for Mike Leigh’s “Another Year” was a complete surprise. Presumed front runners Natalie Portman and Annette Bening were expected to win. I haven’t seen “Another Year,” but I suspect that Portman and Bening remain the front runners for the Best Actress Oscar.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Christian Bale win Best Supporting Actor for “The Fighter” and Jacki Weaver win Best Supporting Actress for “Animal Kingdom.” Both gave great performances in their respected film and deserved the victory. I’m only surprised because sometimes great work is overlooked.

Speaking of overlooked, “Black Swan,” “The Kids Are All Right,” and “127 Hours,” didn’t receive a single notice from The National Board of Review.

Here is a full list of all the winners:

Best Film: “The Social Network”
Best Director: David Fincher, “The Social Network”
Best Actor: Jesse Eisenberg, “The Social Network”
Best Actress: Lesley Manville, “Another Year”
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, “The Fighter”
Best Supporting Actress: Jacki Weaver, “Animal Kingdom”
Best Foreign Film: “Of Gods and Men”
Best Documentary: “Waiting For Superman”
Best Animated Feature: “Toy Story 3″
Best Ensemble Cast: “The Town”
Breakthrough Performance: Jennifer Lawrence, “Winter’s Bone”
Spotlight Award for Best Directorial Debut: Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington, “Restrepo”
Best Original Screenplay: Chris Sparling, “Buried”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, “The Social Network”
Special Filmmaking Achievement Award: Sofia Coppola, for for writing, directing, and producing “Somewhere”
William K. Everson Film History Award: Leonard Maltin
NBR Freedom of Expression: “Fair Game,” “Conviction,” “Howl”
Top Ten Films (In alphabetical order): “Another Year,” “The Fighter,” “Hereafter,” “Inception,” “The King’s Speech,” “Shutter Island,” “The Town,” “Toy Story 3,” “True Grit,” “Winter’s Bone”
Top Ten Independent Films (In alphabetical order): “Animal Kingdom,” “Buried,” “Fish Tank,” “The Ghost Writer,” “Greenberg,” “Let Me In,” “Monsters,” “Please Give,” “Somewhere,” “Youth in Revolt”
Top Five Foreign Films (In alphabetical order): “I Am Love,” “Incendies,” “Life, Above All,” “Soul Kitchen,” “White Material”
Top Five Documentary Films (In alphabetical order): “A Film Unfinished,” “Inside Job,” “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work,” “Restrepo,” “The Tillman Story”

James Franco & Anne Hathaway to Host The 83rd Annual Academy Awards

November 29, 2010 Leave a comment

The big news today was that James Franco and Anne Hathaway have been chosen to host the 83rd Annual Academy Awards.

Deadline broke the news this morning and the Academy later confirmed the news. This is definitely an out of left field choice, and an obvious play by the Academy to reach out to younger viewers. I’m not sure that Franco and Hathaway are big enough stars to attract a youthful viewership. Regardless, I’m looking forward to see what the two of them can bring to the hosting gig.

Franco and Hathaway are both incredibly talented performers and at least one of them, Franco, has a real shot of being nominated. Franco, in my opinion, is a lock for a Best Actor nomination for “127 Hours.” It would certainly be an interesting dynamic to see a nominated actor host the show itself. The last time an Oscar nominee hosted the show was Paul Hogan, for co-writing “Crocodile Dundee” in 1986.

I just hope that this upcoming Oscars telecast is a better put together show than last year’s debacle.

Jackson Finds His Hobbit, and a Couple of Dwarves Too

October 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Deadline broke the story Thursday about Peter Jackson officially casting actors for his two Hobbit films. Martin Freeman has been officially cast in the lead role of Bilbo Baggins. Freeman is probably best known for starring in the British version of “The Office,” and films like “Love Actually,” and “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

There is still no official confirmation of Ian McKellen as Gandalf or Andy Serkis as Gollum. Deadline also reports that Stephen Fry, Saoirse Ronan and Bill Nighy, as the voice of the dragon Smaug, may join the film.

Peter Jackson has also cast several other actors to play dwarves in the films. Now, I have no idea who any of these actors are, but I’m optimistic that they are all talented actors. Ain’t It Cool News has a great rundown of the new Hobbit cast with pictures. I wish I read “The Hobbit” novel, but as you readers know, I can barely read or write.

Jackson and the studio still haven’t decided where they will film the two Hobbit films. The actors’ unions in New Zealand and Australia were threatening to boycott the production of the films. The guilds have backed down, but the experience has left a sour taste in the mouth of the studio and Peter Jackson.  You can watch this clip from New Zealand TV to see how pissed off Jackson is over this. Warner Bros. will have to decide where to film the two-part “The Hobbit.” The first film is scheduled for release in December 2012, and the second is set for December 2013.