Friday, January 20, 2012

Reloading the Pistol.... (With Results 1/24/12)

I've been chatting with many of the Oscar following friends this season and there's one thing everyone seems to agree on: This year is just plain NUTS! Barely a month ago, I posted my annual "Calling My Shot" entry and I can't think of another year where some categories seemed like mortal locks and in such a short period of time, the pendulum snapped, rolled down a hill and crushed a Kardashian. (Okay, that last part is wishful thinking).

In the last week, I sat and watched the Critics' Choice Awards and the Golden Globes and got category after category wrong. Films like Tree of Life have fallen so far off the radar that it will take the Hubble Telescope to see where it went. Who the nominees will be has been a LOT easier to predict than who will finally win. But picking winners? It's been a nightmare this year. How often do you look at the Golden Globe winner for Best Drama and think "Not a chance!"? Almost never.

But, I will give it my best shot. Here are your nominees:

BEST PICTURE: (8/9 Correct)
The Artist
The Descendants
The Help
Midnight in Paris (if there's 6)
Bridesmaids (if there's 7) Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
War Horse (if there's 8)
Tree of Life (if there's 9)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (if there's 10)

Prediction: The Artist. Of the Big 8 categories, this one has turned into the easiest. If you remember when I "called my shot", I went with The Help, because nothing else seemed to jump out at me at the time. Sure, The Artist had won a pre-award or two, but I really didn't think the momentum would continue the way it has. Leave it to the Weinsteins to keep it up.

BEST DIRECTOR: (4/5 Correct)

Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
David Fincher, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Terrence Malick, Tree of Life
Michel Hanazavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne,The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Prediction: Martin Scorsese, Hugo. I may be a little prejudiced as this is my favorite film of 2011 so far, but I think there's reason to think this will happen. Scorsese doesn't have too many movies still left in him and you just can't let one of his LEAST memorable films, The Departed, be his only win. The only likely spoiler would be Hanazavicius.

BEST ACTOR: (3/5 Correct)

George Clooney, The Descendants
Leonardo DiCaprio, J Edgar Demian Bichir, A Better Life
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Ryan Gosling, Drive Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Prediction: Brad Pitt, Moneyball. But I'm REALLY not sold on this right now. Just a few months ago, I was positive this was Gosling's category to lose and now, he may not even get nominated. Clooney and Dujardin won at the Golden Globes, but my gut tells me that Pitt might still prevail, despite having the less showy part, for two reasons: 1. He's never won despite after nearly 2 decades in the limelight. 2. He may hold true to his promise that he's retiring very soon and this might be the Academy's only shot at giving one of its more diverse actors an award. If not here, their last chance looks like World War Z next year.

BEST ACTRESS: (5/5 Correct)

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   

Prediction: Viola Davis, The Help. I was SURE this was Streep's year to return to the winner's circle. Despite the GG win, I just don't see it and that's fine. Davis knocked it out of the park in The Help. It's just funny that Streep will now have lost as many times as any other actor has even been nominated. This may also be the category with the most shocking spoiler: Glenn Close in Albert Nobbs, just because she has never won either and she's been at it a lot longer than Pitt. Although, there may already be too many sentimental choices this year for it to happen.


Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
Albert Brooks, Drive Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Prediction: Christopher Plummer, Beginners. THIS is what I'm talking about. Brooks seemed like the winner just a few weeks ago. Then, I guess, people started catching Beginners on screeners. It's a good performance by Plummer. It's a good film as a whole. I just remember watching it and thinking, "It's just not feeling Oscar-worthy" to me. I guess we've been spoiled the past couple years by some truly amazing supporting performances, Christian Bale in The Fighter, Christoph Waltz in Inglorious Basterds, Heath Ledger in Dark Knight, Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men. Those were just lights-out, great performances. Plummer's isn't.


Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Octavia Spencer, The Help
Shaileen Woodley, The Descendants Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs

Prediction: Octavia Spencer, The Help. Again, this is what I was talking about before. Chastain in, count 'em, FIVE solid-to-great performances this year seemed like such a shoo-in. And in The Help, she was such a BITCH! But I think the Academy will go with the less showy, but more solid performance of Octavia Spencer.


50/50 Margin Call
The Artist
Midnight in Paris
A Separation

Prediction: Midnight in Paris. My #3 movie of 2011. If this one had come out in November instead of spring, I think this one would have been more of a contender for Best Picture. This will be its only win. The only possibility for an upset would be Bridesmaids, but I just don't see it.


The Descendants
The Help Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Ides of March

Prediction: Moneyball. Please? I'm telling you right now, this is going to be one of my worst years for picking the winners. The Ides of March (STILL hate that name. What was wrong with Farragut North? Doesn't hurt the box office in the playhouses that show it) or whatever gets that slot is about the only nominee I can rule out. Right now, The Descendants is picking up steam and could wind up taking this.

BEST FILM EDITING: (3/5 Correct)

The Artist
Drive The Descendants
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
War Horse Moneyball

Prediction: Hugo. One of the MANY well done aspects of this movie. Dragon Tattoo should contend. Everything else is just there to fill slots. As a reminder, this is the category to watch to eliminate Best Picture contenders. No nom here, no trophy there. 


The Artist
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Tree of Life
War Horse

Prediction: Tree of Life. This is one of those film/category matches that you see every few years. Like Terminator 2 and Visual Effects or Raiders of the Lost Ark and Editing. Just an aspect of the film that is so overwhelmingly well done that to NOT award it would show how Joe Average Academy voter doesn't know squat outside of their own job in film.

BEST ART DIRECTION: (5/5 correct)

The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Midnight in Paris
War Horse

Prediction: Hugo. It damn well better. That's all I'm saying.

BEST SOUND MIXING: (2/5 Correct)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Rise of the Planet of the Apes Moneyball
Super 8 Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse

Prediction: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Come on! They have to give SOMETHING to this series. Here's their chance.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Drive
Super 8 Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse

Prediction: War Horse. Never, EVER, bet against the movie that has the sound of horse hooves. Although movies with trains do tend to win as well and three of these have them, it doesn't trump the sound of horses, which easily impresses voters.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN: (2/5 correct)

Albert Nobbs Anonymous
The Artist
The Help Jane Eyre
J. Edgar W.E.

Prediction: The Artist. This IS one of those categories that the voters don't come close to grasping. Here, they typically vote for most costumes, not best. Honestly, you know what movie had great costumes that spoke VOLUMES about the characters? Bridesmaids. Won't even get considered. They fail this category year after year.


The Adventures of Tintin
The Artist
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
War Horse

Prediction: The Artist. It's hard to argue against a movie that is ALL score. The score for Dragon Tattoo though is pretty intense. If they hadn't just won last year, this might be a closer race. I don't know if Hanna is in the running, but the Chemical Brothers work on that movie was pretty awesome as well.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Tree of Life Real Steel

Prediction: Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The major difference between this film and most every other film this year was that the visual effects were also a performance and not just window dressing or explosions.

BEST MAKEUP: (3/3 Correct, but when you pick too many to begin with....)

Albert Nobbs
The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
The Iron Lady

Prediction: The Iron Lady. This category always throws me. For one, Whether there's 3 or 5 nominees seems to happen randomly. And second, unless some film is pulling a Titanic/Return of the King type sweep, I never guess this one correctly. Until last year, I suppose. And so, I will follow last year's method of picking and choose the one I didn't seriously think would win.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: (2/5 Correct, thought I'd read there were only 3 nominees)

The Adventures of Tintin Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita

Prediction: Rango. This category was decided nearly a year ago. With the lack of a Pixar film this year (Cars 2 did not happen in my world), the race was presumably wide open. But the Happy Feet and Kung Fu Panda sequels left something to be desired, although I would argue that the originals of both were highly overrated. But Rango set the bar very high, very early on in 2011 and no other entry came even close.

I'm leaving out, as usual, other categories like the short subjects, documentary, foreign film, and song, simply because, in the case of the first three, I don't see enough of them, and with song, I quite simply don't care since the songs most often get judged on their own merits and not how they affect the film itself.


jessetaylor said...

There'll only be 3 nominees for Best Makeup, not 5.
Otherwise, pretty solid predictions for the most part.

svnelson87 said...

Counting out Tilda Swinton, huh? Bold. Also, Jessica Chastain's role in The Help was the opposite of "bitch." She was the eccentric outcast who thought of her "help" as one of her best and only friends.

El Derelicto de Oscar said...

Really? I thought that was the Bryce Dallas Howard role.