Thursday, 24 February 2011

Intermission - The Oscars: who should win, and who will (in my opinion...)

The 83rd Academy Awards are just around the corner and as ever we can all have a lot of fun debating who'll win, who should've got a shout etc. etc. My picks for each category are below, and also who, if I was a betting man (and I'm not), I would actually back to win.

BEST PICTURE

127 Hours
Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech
Winter's Bone
True Grit
The Social Network
Toy Story 3

My vote: My favourite film of the ten nominees (and indeed my favourite of the last year) is Toy Story 3, which is probably the least likely to win (a nomination is itself something of a coup for an animated feature)

My money's on: The King's Speech is the clear favourite, outsiders being The Social Network and maybe Winter's Bone

BEST DIRECTOR

Darren Aronofsky - Black Swan
David O Russell - The Fighter
Tom Hooper - The King's Speech
David Fincher - The Social Network
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen - True Grit

My vote: I'd have to go for David Fincher - The Social Network is an excellent film and,. Incidentally I think that Mike Leigh should have at least received a nomination for Another Year

My money's on: David Fincher again - as is the way with the Oscars, he is felt to be due recognition; David O Russell is the dark horse. (N.B. in the unlikely event of The King's Speech not winning best picture Tom Hooper will automatically become favourite in this category)

BEST ACTOR

Colin Firth - The King's Speech
Jesse Eisenberg - The Social Network
James Franco - 127 Hours
Javier Bardem - Biutiful
Jeff Bridges - True Grit

My vote: All good performances, but I'll have to follow the critical consensus and say Colin Firth. For all that the role is total Oscar-bait, it really is a wonderful performance and Firth deserves the recognition.

My money's on: If Colin Firth doesn't win this then legions of tipsters and critics will be eating their hats. The most nailed-on favourite of all of this year's awards.

BEST ACTRESS

Annette Bening - The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman - Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence - Winter's Bone
Natalie Portman - Black Swan
Michelle Williams - Blue Valentine

My vote: I'm a little hamstrung on this one as I didn't see all of the films here. Jennifer Lawrence was fantastic in Winter's Bone, though, so she's my pick.

My money's on: I believe the hot favourite is Natalie Portman, but I wouldn't be suprised if this category offers an upset and gives the award to Jennifer Lawrence.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Christian Bale - The Fighter
John Hawkes - Winter's Bone
Jeremy Renner - The Town
Mark Ruffalo - The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush - The King's Speech

My vote: Geoffrey Rush was marvellous in The King's Speech, but my dissenting vote goes to John Hawkes for his haunted hillbilly turn in Winter's Bone

My money's on - Christian Bale delivers a very Oscars-ey performance in The Fighter, so I reckon he'll pick it up. Geoffrey Rush is his strongest challenger.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Amy Adams - The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter - The King's Speech
Melissa Leo - The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit
Jacki Weaver - Animal Kingdom

My vote: in the absence of recognition for Barbara Hershey I will plump for Melissa Leo.

My money's on: a tough call, but I'd probably say Hailee Steinfeld (of course, it's ludicrous that she's even in this category given that she played the lead role, but there it is). Chief competition will probably come from Amy Adams.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Biutiful - Mexico
Dogtooth - Greece
In a Better World - Denmark
Incendies - Canada
Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi) - Algeria

My vote: this is quite an odd shortlist with several notable absences. Of these, I'd go for Dogtooth.

My money's on: despite lukewarm reviews, Biutiful seems to have built up a head of steam.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Mike Leigh - Another Year
Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson (screenplay), Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson (story) - The Fighter
Christopher Nolan - Inception
Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg - The Kids Are All Right
David Seidler - The King's Speech

My vote: the head says David Seidler but the heart says Mike Leigh (and both for films that relied heavily on the creativity of excellent actors). In the wise words of Napoleon Dynamite: "Follow your heart. That's what I do."

My money's on: David Seidler, though a good punt would be for Christopher Nolan here - If there's any non-technical category where the Academy will recognise Inception, it's here.

BEST ANIMATION

How to Train Your Dragon

The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

My vote: Toy Story 3 (see Best Picture above)

My money's on: Toy Story 3

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy - 127 Hours
Aaron Sorkin - The Social Network
Michael Arndt - Toy Story 3
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen - True Grit
Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini - Winter's Bone

My vote: a tough pick here - all are worthy of the win but I'm going to go for Aaron Sorkin's superb craftsmanship with The Social Network

My money's on: Aaron Sorkin

BEST ART DIRECTION

Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Inception
The King's Speech
True Grit

My vote: Though it should really go to The King's Speech or True Grit, I'd like to see this go to Harry Potter 7A
My money's on: The King's Speech, but don't rule out either Inception or True Grit

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Black Swan
Inception
The King's Speech
The Social Network
True Grit

My vote: Roger Deakins did some beautiful filmwork on True Grit, so I'll pick him

My money's on: Roger Deakins. This is his fifth nomination and he's never won, so he is well overdue an Oscar.

BEST SOUND MIXING

Inception
The King's Speech
The Social Network
Salt
True Grit

I'm afraid I have no views on this, other than 'lol' at Salt getting an Oscar nomination.

BEST SOUND EDITING

Inception
Toy Story 3
Tron: Legacy
True Grit
Unstoppable

As above, but for 'Salt' insert 'Unstoppable'

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Coming Home (from Country Strong) by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
I See the Light (from Tangled) by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater
If I Rise (from 127 Hours) by AR Rahman, Dido and Rollo Armstrong
We Belong Together (from Toy Story 3) by Randy Newman

My vote: Randy Newman, without a doubt.

My money's on: Randy Newman

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

How to Train Your Dragon - John Powell
Inception - Hans Zimmer
The King's Speech - Alexandre Desplat
127 Hours - AR Rahman
The Social Network - Trent Reznor and Atticus

My vote: The Social Network - a superb and unusual score that was a perfect complement to the film. We're it nominated, I would have said Winter's Bone. I was also suprised that neither True Grit nor Black Swan recieved a nod here.

My money's on: As with several other categories it's a shootout between The King's Speech and The Social Network. I'll say The King's Speech (though Hans Zimmer might be a good outisde bet)

BEST COSTUMES

Alice in Wonderland
I Am Love
The King's Speech
The Tempest
True Grit

My vote: nice to see a nomination for I Am Love, but I'll go for True Grit, if only for the man in the bear skin.

My money's on: The King's Speech

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Exit Through the Gift Shop
Gasland
Inside Job
Restrepo
Waste Land

My vote: the notion that Banksy could win an Oscar is intriguing, but I'd like this to go to Restrepo

My money's on: I have a feeling Inside Job is high-profile and zeitgeist-ey enough to take this one

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

Killing in the Name
Poster Girl
Strangers No More
Sun Come Up
The Warriors of Qiugang

To my eternal shame, I have seen none of these so can't really give a view.

BEST FILM EDITING

Black Swan
The Fighter
The King's Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network

My vote: King's Speech for me here, as close to a perfectly edited film as you'll get.

My money's on: it's Kings' Speech vs The Social Network again. I'll say Social Network.

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

Day & Night
The Gruffalo
Let's Pollute
The Lost Thing
Madagascar, Carnet de Voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)

My vote: Much as I enjoyed The Gruffalo, it wasn't a patch on Day & Night - a wonderful piece of old-fashioned cartoon ingenuity

My money's on: Day & Night

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

The Confession
The Crush
God of Love
Na Wewe
Wish 143

As with documentary short, I'm afraid I've seen none of these.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1
Hereafter
Inception
Iron Man 2

My vote: Inception, Inception, Inception - whatever else you might think of the film, there is no denying the transcendentally extraordinary special effects.

My money's on: Inception has to be the firm favourite here.

BEST MAKE-UP

Barney's Version
The Way Back
The Wolfman

My vote: I'm surprised at the absence of Black Swan in this category; my choice would be Barney's Version here.

My money's on: The Wolfman.

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