Friday, February 25, 2011

2011 Oscar Preview


This is without a doubt the most prepared I've ever been for Oscar night. I've seen all 10 Best Picture nominees and in the major acting and directing categories, I've only missed four individual performances. Unfortunately it seems as if most of the awards have already been decided and that leaves little suspense in place on Sunday night. Maybe we'll see some upsets but I'm pretty sure things will go according to plan. I actually think I'll be happy with most of the results (especially in the acting categories).

As usual I will be giving you the nominees in the major categories along with whom (or what) I think will take home the Oscar (highlighted in green) as well as the choice I would make if I was a member of the Academy (I really should be one) and had a vote (highlighted in blue). Hopefully you all got a chance to see a good share of the Best Picture nominees. I really do think most of them are deserving. I will list the Best Picture noms at the end of this post in order of how I would rank them (from worst to best).

And heeeerrree we go!

Best Actor

Javier Bardem in “Biutiful” (Roadside Attractions)
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit” (Paramount)
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Colin Firth in “The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company)
James Franco in “127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight)

Franco and Eisenberg get the shaft as their awesome performances came during the year of Firth.

Best Actress

Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features)
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole” (Lionsgate)
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter's Bone” (Roadside Attractions)
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight)
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine” (The Weinstein Company)

Lawrence was really good in a terrible Winter's Bone film. She or Annette may have won if it wasn't for Portman's career-best performance.

Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale in “The Fighter” (Paramount)
John Hawkes in “Winter's Bone” (Roadside Attractions)
Jeremy Renner in “The Town” (Warner Bros.)
Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features)
Geoffrey Rush in “The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company)

Again, Geoffrey Rush picked the wrong year to go up against Bale. He's 1B to Christian's flawless 1A.

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams in “The Fighter” (Paramount)
Helena Bonham Carter in “The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company)
Melissa Leo in “The Fighter” (Paramount)
Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit” (Paramount)
Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom” (Sony Pictures Classics)

This will be the closest race on Oscar night. Leo was amazing in The Fighter and nearly as effective as Christian Bale. I think she narrowly beats out Steinfeld who should have been nominated for lead actress in True Grit. Steinfeld came out of nowhere and totally owns that movie, trumping even a great performance by Jeff Bridges.

Best Director

“Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight) Darren Aronofsky
“The Fighter” (Paramount) David O. Russell
“The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company) Tom Hooper
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing) David Fincher
“True Grit” (Paramount) Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Well I really wanted Christopher Nolan to win this award, but he got the shaft so I guess the Cohen Brothers would be my next choice. It's a toss-up between Fincher and Hooper though. Fincher will probably win although he deserved it more for Benjamin Button.

Best Adapted Screenplay

“127 Hours” Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
“The Social Network” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
“Toy Story 3” Screenplay by Michael Arndt
“True Grit” Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
“Winter's Bone” Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

Another stone cold lock for Sorkin, but I thought the story crafting of 127 Hours was superior.

Best Original Screenplay

“Another Year” Written by Mike Leigh
“The Fighter” Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
“Inception” Written by Christopher Nolan
“The Kids Are All Right” Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
“The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company) Screenplay by David Seidler

I really hope that Inception takes the prize here. Chris Nolan deserves some recognition and I think the voters may reward him for getting the shaft in the directing category. If The King's Speech has a run on the other awards, Seidler may follow suit and take this one.

Best Picture

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

Hopefully the more deserving film (King's Speech) beats out Social Network. I would love to see Inception win but there's no chance in hell that will happen. Should be an interesting night with James Franco and Anne Hathaway hosting. Now I just need to get out to the theater for the first time in 2011. It should happen soon as Battle: Los Angeles opens up next weekend.

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