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Predictions for the 90th Annual Academy Awards

Tonight may be a competition, but I’ve never been interested in racing with my predictions. Every moment counts, but the buck’s got to stop somewhere. I went 20/24 last year, which I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to top again, but we’ll see…

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BEST MOTION PICTURE of the YEAR

WILL WIN: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
MIGHT WIN: “The Shape of Water”
MY VOTE: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
SHOULD BE HERE: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

BEST DIRECTOR

WILL WIN: Guillermo Del Toro – “The Shape of Water”
MIGHT WIN: Christopher Nolan – “Dunkirk”
MY VOTE: Christopher Nolan – “Dunkirk
SHOULD BE HERE: Darren Aronofsky – “Mother!”

BEST ACTOR in a LEADING ROLE

WILL WIN: Gary Oldman – “Darkest Hour”
MIGHT WIN: Timothee Chalamet – “Call Me By Your Name”
MY VOTE: Timothee Chalamet – “Call Me By Your Name”
SHOULD BE HERE: Jeremy Renner – “Wind River”

BEST ACTRESS in a LEADING ROLE

WILL WIN: Frances McDormand – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
MIGHT WIN: Saoirse Ronan – “Lady Bird”
MY VOTE: Frances McDormand – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
SHOULD BE HERE: Jennifer Lawrence – “Mother!”

BEST ACTOR in a SUPPORTING ROLE

WILL WIN: Sam Rockwell – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
MIGHT WIN: Willem Dafoe – “The Florida Project”
MY VOTE: Sam Rockwell – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
SHOULD BE HERE: Michael Stuhlbarg – “Call Me By Your Name”

BEST ACTRESS in a SUPPORTING ROLE

WILL WIN: Allison Janney – “I, Tonya
MIGHT WIN: Laurie Metcalf – “Lady Bird”
MY VOTE: Allison Janney – “I, Tonya”
SHOULD BE HERE: Michelle Pfeiffer – “Mother!”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

WILL WIN: “Get Out”
MIGHT WIN: “Lady Bird”
MY VOTE: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
SHOULD BE HERE: “Wind River”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

WILL WIN: “Call Me By Your Name”
MIGHT WIN: “Mudbound”
MY VOTE: “Call Me By Your Name”
SHOULD BE HERE: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

WILL WIN: “A Fantastic Woman”
MIGHT WIN: “Loveless”
MY VOTE: “N/A”
SHOULD BE HERE: “N/A”

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

WILL WIN: “Faces Places”
MIGHT WIN: “Icarus”
MY VOTE: “Strong Island”
SHOULD BE HERE: “One of Us”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

WILL WIN: “Coco”
MIGHT WIN: “Loving Vincent”
MY VOTE: Meh
SHOULD BE HERE: N/A

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

WILL WIN: “Blade Runner: 2049”
MIGHT WIN: “Dunkirk”
MY VOTE: “Blade Runner: 2049”
SHOULD BE HERE: “Call Me By Your Name”

BEST EDITING

WILL WIN: “Dunkirk”
MIGHT WIN: “Baby Driver”
MY VOTE: “Dunkirk”
SHOULD BE HERE: “Mother!”

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

WILL WIN: “The Shape of Water”
MIGHT WIN: “Blade Runner: 2049”
MY VOTE: “Blade Runner: 2049”
SHOULD BE HERE: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

WILL WIN: “Phantom Thread”
MIGHT WIN: “Victoria and Abdul”
MY VOTE: “Phantom Thread”
SHOULD BE HERE: “I, Tonya”

BEST SOUND MIXING

WILL WIN: “Dunkirk”
MIGHT WIN: “Baby Driver”
MY VOTE: “Blade Runner: 2049”
SHOULD BE HERE: “Logan”

BEST SOUND EFFECTS EDITING

WILL WIN: “Dunkirk”
MIGHT WIN: “Blade Runner: 2049”
MY VOTE: “Dunkirk”
SHOULD BE HERE: “Mother!”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

WILL WIN: “War for the Planet of the Apes”
MIGHT WIN: “Blade Runner: 2049”
MY VOTE: “Blade Runner: 2049”
SHOULD BE HERE: “Alien Covenant”

BEST MAKEUP and HAIRSTYLING

WILL WIN: “Darkest Hour”
MIGHT WIN: “Wonder”
MY VOTE: “Darkest Hour”
SHOULD BE HERE: “Bright”

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

WILL WIN: “The Shape of Water”
MIGHT WIN: “Phantom Thread”
MY VOTE: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
SHOULD BE HERE: “Blade Runner: 2049”

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

WILL WIN: “Remember Me” from “Coco”
MIGHT WIN: “This is Me” from “The Greatest Showman”
MY VOTE: “Mystery of Love” from “Call Me By Your Name”
SHOULD BE HERE: “Visions of Gideon” from “Call Me By Your Name”

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM

WILL WIN: “DeKalb Elementary”
MIGHT WIN: “The Silent Child”
MY VOTE: N/A
SHOULD BE HERE: N/A

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

WILL WIN: “Dear Basketball”
MIGHT WIN: “Garden Party”
MY VOTE: N/A
SHOULD BE HERE: N/A

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

WILL WIN: “Heroin(e)”
MIGHT WIN: “Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405”
MY VOTE: N/A
SHOULD BE HERE: N/A

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The 8th Annual Edgy Award Nominations

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The time when I get to educate everyone on what this year’s Oscar nominations should have looked like.

To review how these work, while there may only be 7 previous editions of the Edgys available online, the awards are cataloged by yours truly going all the way back to 1940. The recipients’ nomination and win counts are grouped according to each category, with the exception of the two music categories and the four acting categories being linked. So while Martin Scorsese may be getting only his 3rd nomination for producing, that certainly does not include the wealth of nominations he’s accumulated for directing.

Without further ado, here are my nominations for the best craftsmanship and talent on display in 2017:

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BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Mighty River
featured in “Mudbound”
Music and Lyrics by Mary J. Blige (3rd nom), Raphael Saadiq (1st nom) and Taura Stinson (1st nom)

“Mystery of Love”
featured in “Call Me By Your Name”
Music and Lyrics by Sufjan Stevens (2nd nom)

“The Pure and the Damned”
featured in “Good Time”
Music by Daniel Lopatin (1st nom), Lyrics by Iggy Pop (1st nom)

“Visions of Gideon”
featured in “Call Me By Your Name”
Music and Lyrics by Sufjan Stevens (2nd nom)

“World Gone Mad”
featured in “Bright”
Music and Lyrics by Dan Smith (1st nom)

__________

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

“Blade Runner: 2049”
Benjamin Wallfisch (1st nom) and Hans Zimmer (10th nom, 4 wins – “12 Years a Slave,” “Gladiator,” “The Thin Red Line” and “Rain Man”)

“Phantom Thread”
Jonny Greenwood (4th nom, 2 wins – “The Master” and “Exit Music (for a Film)” from “Romeo and Juliet”

“The Shape of Water”
Alexander Desplat (5th nom)

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
John Williams (29th nom, 10 wins – “Munich,” “Amistad,” “Schindler’s List,” “Empire of the Sun,” “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi,” “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,” “Star Wars: A New Hope,” “Jaws”)

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Carter Burwell (5th nom, 2 wins – “Fargo” and “Barton Fink)

__________

BEST MAKE-UP and HAIRSTYLING

“Bright”
Alessandro Bertolazzi (2nd nom, 1 win – “Suicide Squad”) and Christopher Alan Nelson (2nd nom, 1 win – “Suicide Squad”)

“Darkest Hour”
Kazuhiro Tsuji (1st nom), David Malinowski (1st nom) and Lucy Sibbick (1st nom)

“The Disaster Artist”
Thomas Floutz (1st nom), Andy Clement (1st nom) and Molly Tissavary (1st nom)

“I, Tonya”
Deborah La Mia Denaver (2nd nom) and Adruitha Lee (3rd nom, 1 win – “12 Years a Slave”)

“The Shape of Water”
Jeff Derushie (1st nom), Jordan Samuel (1st nom) and Michael J. Walsh (2nd nom)

__________

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

“Alien: Covenant”
Neil Corbould (5th nom, 2 wins – “Gravity” and “Gladiator”), Charley Henley (2nd nom) and Christian Kaestner (2nd nom)

“Blade Runner: 2049”
John Nelson (4th nom, 1 win – “Gladiator”), Gerd Nefzer (1st nom), Paul Lambert (1st nom) and Richard R. Hoover (3rd nom)

“The Shape of Water”
Dennis Berardi (1st nom), Trey Harrell (1st nom), and Atilla Ceylan (1st nom)

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
Ben Morris (1st nom), Michael Mulholland (1st nom), Neal Scanlan (3rd nom, 2 wins – “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Babe”) and Chris Corbould (6th nom, 2 wins – “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Inception”)

“War for the Planet of the Apes”
Daniel Barrett (3rd nom, 1 win – “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”), Dan Lemmon (4th nom, 2 wins – “The Jungle Book” and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”), Joe Letteri (9th nom, 5 wins – “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “Avatar,” “LOTR: The Return of the King,” and “LOTR: The Two Towers”) and Joel Whist (1st nom)

__________

BEST SOUND EFFECTS EDITING

“Alien: Covenant”
Michael Fentum (1st nom) and Oliver Tarney (4th nom, 1 win – “United 93”)

“Blade Runner: 2049”
Mark Mangini (5th nom) and Theo Green (1st nom)

“Dunkirk”
Richard King (8th nom, 4 wins – “Inception,” “The Dark Knight,” “War of the Worlds” and “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”)

“Mother!”
Paula Fairfield (1st nom) and Jill Purdy (1st nom)

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
Ren Klyce (6th nom, 1 win “The Social Network”) and Matthew Wood (9th nom, 1 win – “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”)

__________

BEST SOUND EFFECTS MIXING

“Baby Driver”
Tim Cavagin (1st nom), Mary H. Ellis (1st nom) and Julian Slater (1st nom)

“Blade Runner: 2049”
Ron Bartlett (1st nom), Doug Hemphill (6th nom) and Mac Ruth (1st nom)

“Dunkirk”
Gregg Landaker (8th nom, 4 wins – “Interstellar,” “Twister,” “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark”), Gary Rizzo (6th nom, 2 wins – “Interstellar” and “Inception”) and Mark Weingarten (4th nom, 2 wins – “Interstellar” and “The Social Network”)

“Logan”
David Giammarco (4th nom, 1 win – “3:10 to Yuma”), Paul Ledford (1st nom) and Paul Massey (6th nom, 1 win – “3:10 to Yuma”)

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
Ren Klyce (6th nom, 1 win “The Social Network”), David Parker (8th nom, 1 win – “The Social Network”), Michael Semanick (9th nom, 2 wins – “The Social Network” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”) and Stuart Wilson (4th nom)

__________

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

“The Beguiled”
Stacy Battat (1st nom)

“I, Tonya”
Jennifer Johnson (1st nom)

“The Lost City of Z”
Sonia Grande (1st nom)

“Phantom Thread”
Mark Bridges (5th nom, 1 win – “The Artist”)

“Victoria and Abdul”
Consolata Boyle
(2nd nom)

__________

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

“Blade Runner: 2049”
Dennis Gassner (5th nom) and Alessandra Querzola (1st nom)

“Mother!”
Larry Dias (2nd nom, 1 win – “Inception”), Martine Kazemirchuk (1st nom) and Philip Messina (1st nom)

“The Post”
Rick Carter (6th nom, 1 win – “Lincoln”) and Rena DeAngelo (1st nom)

“The Shape of Water”
Paul Austerberry (1st nom), Jeffrey Melvin (2nd nom) and Shane Vieau (2nd nom)

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
Rick Heinrichs (2nd nom, 1 win – “Sleepy Hollow”) and Richard Roberts (1st nom)

__________

BEST EDITING

“Dunkirk”
Lee Smith (6th nom, 1 win – “The Dark Knight”)

“Get Out”
Gregory Plotkin (1st nom)

“I, Tonya”
Tatiana Riegel (1st nom)

“Mother!”
Andrew Weisblum (1st nom)

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Jon Gregory (2nd nom)

__________

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

“Blade Runner: 2049”
Roger Deakins (15th nom, 5 wins – “Sicario,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” “Fargo,” “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Barton Fink”)

“Call Me By Your Name”
Sayombhu Mukdeeprom (1st nom)

“Dunkirk”
Hoyt Van Hoytema (2nd nom)

“It Comes at Night”
Drew Daniels (1st nom)

“The Shape of Water”
Dan Laustsen (1st nom)

__________

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

“City of Ghosts”
Matthew Heineman (2nd nom)

“Icarus”
Dan Cogan (1st nom) and Bryan Fogel (1st nom)

“One of Us”
Heidi Ewing (2nd nom, 1 win – “Jesus Camp”) and Rachel Grady (2nd nom, 1 win – “Jesus Camp”)

“Strong Island”
Joslyn Barnes (1st nom) and Yance Ford (1st nom)

“Whose Streets?”
Damon Davis (1st nom) and Sabaah Folayan (1st nom)

__________

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

“Call Me By Your Name”
James Ivory (1st nom)

“The Disaster Artist”
Scott Neustadter (2nd nom, 1 win – “500 Days of Summer”) and Michael H. Weber (2nd nom, 1 win – “500 Days of Summer”)

“Molly’s Game”
Aaron Sorkin (6th nom, 3 wins – “Moneyball,” “The Social Network” and “A Few Good Men”)

“Mudbound”
Dee Rees (1st nom) and Virgil Williams (1st nom)

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
Rian Johnson (3rd nom, 2 wins – “Looper” and “Brick”)

__________

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

“Get Out”
Jordan Peele (1st nom)

“Lady Bird”
Greta Gerwig (1st nom)

“Phantom Thread”
Paul Thomas Anderson (5th nom, 1 win – “Boogie Nights”)

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Martin McDonagh (2nd nom, 1 win – “In Bruge”)

“Wind River”
Taylor Sheridan (3rd nom)

__________

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST PERFORMANCE

“Call Me By Your Name”
Vanda Capriolo, Amira Casar, Timothee Chalamet, Victoire Du Bois, Esther Garrel, Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg

“It”
Steven Bogaert, Jack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton, Chosen Jacobs, Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis, Wyatt Oleff, Jackson Robert Scott, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Bill Skarsgaard, Logan Thompson, Finn Wolfhard

“Mudbound”
Jonathan Banks, Mary J. Blige, Kerry Cahill, Jason Clarke, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell, Rob Morgan, Carey Mulligan

“The Post”
Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, David Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Tom Hanks, Pat Healy, Tracy Letts, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson, Jesse Plemons, Matthew Rhys, Meryl Streep, Bradley Whitford, Zach Woods

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Kerry Condon, Abbie Cornish, Peter Dinklage, Woody Harrelson, John Hawkes, Lucas Hedges, Zeljko Ivanek, Caleb Landry Jones, Sandy Martin, Frances McDormand, Kathryn Newton, Sam Rockwell

__________

BEST ACTRESS in a SUPPORTING ROLE

Allison Janney – “I, Tonya”
1st nom

Lesley Manville – “Phantom Thread”
2nd nom, 1 win – “Another Year”

Tatiana Maslany – “Stronger”
1st nom

Laurie Metcalf – “Lady Bird”
1st nom

Michelle Pfeiffer – “Mother!”
3rd nom

__________

BEST ACTOR in a SUPPORTING ROLE

Willem Dafoe – “The Florida Project”
4th nom

Jason Mitchell – “Mudbound”
1st nom

Sam Rockwell – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
2nd nom

Patrick Stewart – “Logan”
1st nom

Michael Stuhlbarg – “Call Me By Your Name”
1st nom

__________

BEST ACTRESS in a LEADING ROLE

Sally Hawkins – “The Shape of Water”
3rd nom, 1 win – “Happy Go Lucky”

Jennifer Lawrence – “Mother!”
4th nom

Frances McDormand – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
5th nom, 2 wins – “Fargo” and “Mississippi Burning”

Margot Robbie – “I, Tonya”
1st nom

Saoirse Ronan – “Lady Bird”
2nd nom

__________

BEST ACTOR in a LEADING ROLE

Timothee Chalamet – “Call Me By Your Name”
1st nom

Daniel Kaluuya – “Get Out”
1st nom

Gary Oldman – “Darkest Hour”
6th nom, 2 wins – “The Contender” and “Sid and Nancy”

Robert Pattinson – “Good Time”
1st nom

Jeremy Renner – “Wind River”
2nd nom

__________

BEST DIRECTOR

Darren Aronofsky – “Mother!”
2nd nom

Martin McDonagh – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
1st nom

Christopher Nolan – “Dunkirk”
5th nom, 1 win – “The Dark Knight”

Trey Edward Schults – “It Comes at Night”
1st nom

Denis Villeneuve – “Blade Runner: 2049”
4th nom, 1 win – “Arrival”

__________

BEST MOTION PICTURE of the YEAR

 “Blade Runner: 2049”

Broderick Johnson (2nd nom) and Andrew Kosgrove (2nd nom)

“Call Me By Your Name”

Emilie Georges (1st nom), Luca Guadagnino (1st nom), Marco Morabito (1st nom) and Peter Spears (1st nom)

“Dunkirk”

Christopher Nolan (4th nom, 1 win – “The Dark Knight”) and Emma Thomas (4th nom, 1 win – “The Dark Knight”)

“Get Out”

Jason Blum (2nd nom), Edward Hamm Jr. (1st nom), Sean McKittrick (1st nom) and Jordan Peele (1st nom)

“It Comes at Night”

David Kaplan (1st nom) and Andrew Roa (1st nom)

“Phantom Thread”

Paul Thomas Anderson (6th nom, 1 win – “There Will Be Blood”), Megan Ellison (5th nom), Daniel Lupi (4th nom, 1 win – “There Will Be Blood”) and JoAnne Sellar (6th nom, 1 win – “There Will Be Blood”)

“The Shape of Water”

J. Miles Dale (1st nom) and Guillermo Del Toro (2nd nom)

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

Ram Bergman (3rd nom) and Kathleen Kennedy (10th nom)

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Graham Broadbent (2nd nom), Peter Czernin (2nd nom) and Martin McDonagh (1st nom)

“Wind River”

Elizabeth A. Bell (1st nom), Peter Berg (1st nom) and Wayne L. Rogers (1st nom)

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NOMINATION TALLY

Films with multiple nominations a piece:

Blade Runner: 2049 – 8
Call Me By Your Name – 8
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – 8
The Shape of Water – 7
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – 7
Dunkirk – 6
Mother! – 6
I, Tonya – 5
Phantom Thread – 5
Get Out – 4
Mudbound – 4
It Comes at Night – 3
Lady Bird – 3
Wind River – 3
Alien: Covenant – 2
Bright – 2
Darkest Hour – 2
The Disaster Artist – 2
Good Time – 2
Logan – 2
The Post – 2

My Reaction: The Good, the Meh and the Ugly, Part 1

January 24, 2012 Leave a comment

All right. Here we go. I’ve been awake for the last six hours, and as if that didn’t put me in a cranky enough mood, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences always manages to take care of that for me. There were some good things. I won’t lie. The voters always find a way of sneaking in a few items that even I can respect and say thank you for. However, if you look at this reaction on the whole, “Thank you” is not going to be the word you’d use to sum it up.

Note, I’m not going to go through and talk about every one of the 104 nominations. I’m sorry, but that would be madness. Instead I will simply focus on the true standouts of the morning, mostly the surprises and the hard-fought battles. If you’re curious about a nomination that I don’t mention, ask me, or simply wait for the 2nd Annual Edgy Awards. The nominations should be ready within the next two weeks.

Let’s do this in chapters, shall we? Starting with the facets I enjoyed:

THE GOOD

 

The ultimate highlight of the morning, and the thing that will probably be most remembered from this year’s Oscars as a whole, is Gary Oldman’s nomination for Best Actor. I think you would be hard-pressed to find an actor who has taken his licks, paid his dues, delivered some absolutely fantastic and groundbreaking work, and gone so long without being being honored with so much as a single Oscar nomination. Maybe Donald Sutherland, but I would easily say that Oldman’s talent surpasses his in so many ways. For all of its faults, this morning was made great because of this irrefutable fact: we now live in a world where Gary Oldman is an Oscar nominee. The world just got a whole lot better.

While this year’s Best Picture lineup may set a record for lowest coinciding with my own choices (I think only 3 films will end up overlapping), there is one movie that I am infinitely proud of the Academy’s rally of support around it. Earning a total of six nominations, tied for third highest amount, that film is Bennett Miller’s sophomore effort and absolute stunner of a film, “Moneyball.” When it came to searching for a film that raised my heart rate and got my blood flowing as much as last year’s masterpiece, “The Social Network,” this was the only film that came close (ironically co-penned by the Shakespeare of our time, Aaron Sorkin). Not only is it arguably the greatest sports movie ever made (barring “Raging Bull,” if you consider that a movie about sports), it is a touching character study of what we’re worth as human beings and what we come to expect of ourselves. This movie will forever hold a place of high honor in my mind and heart and I could not be happier that the Academy agrees with me.

As far as the female categories are concerned, there’s two nominations that really made me smile. The first is Melissa McCarthy’s well-deserved mention for “Bridesmaids.” The film, itself, was funny and decent enough, but without McCarthy’s absolutely hilarious and fearless performance, it would have been a fraction of what it turned out to be. This woman is fantastic and I am so happy for her and the year she’s having. Secondly, I am not only shocked, but overjoyed at the Best Actress nomination for Rooney Mara. This is a talented young actress who came out of nowhere, took on a highly anticipated role that has already been portrayed by another actress not less than three years ago, and against all expectations from many skeptics, knocked it completely out of the park. Her embodiment of Lisbeth Salander will forever live in infamy and now she has an Oscar nomination to show for it. Congrats.

There’s a few other nominations that tickled my fancy, here and there. An outstanding surprise in the writing categories was J.C. Chandor’s Best Original Screenplay nomination for his debut film, “Margin Call.” And I could kick myself square in the face for not predicting it. This film was a current of pure energy and intelligence that is more relevant than perhaps any of the nominated films. I cannot wait to see what this gentleman does in the future. Speaking of relevance, I also had a brief moment of joy over the nominated documentary “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front.” It has flown largely under the radar throughout the year, but is a valuable lesson on the damage we’ve done to our world, as well as how far we are willing to go to reverse that. Finally, even though it might be to many others’ chagrin, I’m pleased to see Janusz Kaminski score his fifth nomination for Best Cinematography through “War Horse.” It may not be his best work, but there are some shots in that film that are indisputably among the best of the year. Bravo my favorite working DP.

Well, that about wraps it up for my moments of elation, obviously few and far between. Perhaps after a while, I might be able to look back on this day and acknowledge a little more as being positive. For now, I brood.

I’ll be back later today with parts two and three, so stay tuned to The Edge of the Frame.

How I Did: My Prediction Tally

January 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Before I start my endless rant about how much these Oscar nominations have ruined my day, any potentially my life (it’s still too soon), I’ll just give a brief rundown of how I did. Sort of good in some places, really bad in others. I’ll try to put a cap on my emotions, as well, and save that for my reactions so we can move this along.

Yet, I cannot stop myself from asking if we could just bring on next year, please? NOW…

BEST PICTURE: 7/9 + 1st alternate (not bad)
Had I only bumped “The Tree of Life” up above “Bridesmaids” in my rankings, I’d have one more, but I won’t cheat and say that I saw it coming. And really, at this point in the game, who really saw “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”? I feel like the Academy had their own private, sick, inside joke going on with that one.

BEST DIRECTOR – 4/5 + 1st alternate (I’ll take it, but damn it!)
Lying in bed last night, all I could think of was how I knew I was wrong not to predict Malick. You can ask my girlfriend, because I was pretty sure I was thinking aloud and she kept telling me to shut up.

BEST ACTOR – 4/5 (I’ll take it)
Demien Bechir’s surprise nomination is less of a sting since I am very proud of myself for staying out on a limb with that Gary Oldman prediction. Kudos to myself and everyone else who did the same.

BEST ACTRESS – 4/5 + 1st alternate (I guess I’ll take it)
The other thing that I was fumbling with in my mind, last night, was Rooney Mara. She was just too exciting of a performance for the Academy to pass up. Certainly didn’t expect her to oust Swinton, though. Brutal.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – 4/5 (I’ll take it, but wow)
Once again, I don’t think anybody saw Max von Sydow coming, at least not at this point in the game. Very proud to have stuck with Jonah Hill. I always had an inkling suspicion that the lack of a SAG nomination for Albert Brooks was going to kill him, but never really believed that the Academy would go that far.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – 4/5 + 2nd alternate (I’ll take it)
I knew that Shailene Woodley would fall off, but didn’t figure on the Academy giving the full cold shoulder to “Shame.” No accounting for taste, I guess. McTeer takes the spot.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – 4/5 (I’ll take it…grrr)
The roughest category to predict, this year, so I think I came out all right. I could really kick myself in the ear for not predicting one of my favorite scripts from 2011, “Margin Call.”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – 3/5 + 1st alternate (could have done better)
I wrestled a lot with “Tinker, Tailor” taking out “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” but didn’t quite make it there. Certainly thought that “Hugo”‘s screenplay would drop before “The Help.”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE – 2/5 (ashamed of myself)
All right. This category is a holy mess. I think I have to give props to Kris Tapley and Guy Lodge at In Contention for sticking to their guns on “Adventures of Tintin” not being considered animated due to its motion capture status. The rest of this…what a pile of unpredictability.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM – 5/5 (take a bow)
Ha. Who knew that the branch I’d nail would be one of the Academy’s most unpredictable. Pat on the back for me.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE – 2/5 + 1st alternate (could have done better)
You know, while I’m not a fan of my overall performance in this category, I really have to give myself props for being one of the only prognosticators around predicting “If a Tree Falls.” A true dark horse that I nailed. And let’s be real, the absence of “Project Nim” is the most surprising snub of the morning.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – 5/5 (take a bow)
All right, I once again have to give it up for me. Not as difficult of a category, but I knew that the AMPAS wouldn’t give Janusz the cold shoulder like the ASC did.

BEST EDITING – 4/5 + 1st alternate (I’ll take it)
Agh! So close. It looks like “The Descendants” campaign to not get hit by the editing jinx paid off. At least this proves that “War Horse” will not win Best Picture.

BEST ART DIRECTION – 3/5 (could have done better)
Some surprises here. It seems the snub of “War Horse” from the ADG didn’t mean anything, after all. The one and only below-the-line nom for “Midnight in Paris.”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN – 3/5 + 1st and 2nd alternates (could have done better)
Wow, my alternates reigned supreme in this category. Quite shocked about “The Help” missing, here. The most colorful of the bunch. They really seem to have gone for drab, this year.

BEST SOUND MIXING – 3/5 + 1st alternate (could have done better)
After all the sound guilds crowning “Super 8” their king, it runs up completely empty. Ain’t that a bitch?

BEST SOUND EDITING – 3/5 + 2nd alternate (could have done better)
A lot of diversity from the above column on display. Sure is a good thing they upped their nomination count…so they can look exactly like their older brother.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS – 4/5 (I’ll take it)
“Captain America”…(sigh)…I don’t want to talk about it. Damn you, David Cohen of Variety. At least “The Tree of Life” didn’t make it and making me look like the biggest fool for not predicting it. For that, I’m happy with how I did, here.

BEST MAKEUP – 2/3 + 2nd alternate (I will take it)
Knew those first two would make it in, but very surprised that “The Artist” juggernaut missed here, and that the monster that is “Hugo” didn’t take its place.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – 3/5 + 1st and 2nd alternates (could have done better)
Wow. Had I just stuck with my gut and switched around my alternates, I’d be a happy man in this category. Too bad. Looks like John Williams is going to cancel himself out again. Guess he can blame Steven Spielberg and his multi-movie years.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG – 0/2
You know what, we’re not even going to do this. Go jump off of a bridge, AMPAS Song Branch. You’re a disgrace to movies and life, itself.

And I was going to try and keep emotion out of it.

Well, my total tally of just predictions alone turned out to be: 73/104, which puts me at about 70%.

If you count my 1st alternates as a 1/2 correct choice and 2nd alternates as 1/4, my total is: 78.75, making my average 76%.

If we just discount the bullshit Original Song category, all together, which we should: 73/102, and that’s 72%.

Granted, I’m not really allowed to do those last two options, but damn it, I should. Last year, I ended up with just over 75%, so this year is definitely a bit of a dip in my professional status. Oh well. Shake it off. Next time you hear from me, I will likely be venting my head off. If you’re just waking up, go back to sleep. It’s not worth it.

2012 Academy Award Nominations!

January 24, 2012 Leave a comment

And away we go…

BEST PICTURE
“The Artist”
“The Descendants”
“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”
“The Help”
“Hugo”
“Midnight in Paris”
“Moneyball”
“The Tree of Life”
“War Horse”

BEST DIRECTOR
Woody Allen – “Midnight in Paris”
Michael Hazanavicius – “The Artist”
Terrence Malick – “The Tree of Life”
Alexander Payne – “The Descendants”
Martin Scorsese – “Hugo”

BEST ACTOR in a LEADING ROLE
Demien Bechir – “A Better Life”
George Clooney – “The Descendants”
Jean Dujardin – “The Artist”
Gary Oldman – “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
Brad Pitt – “Moneyball”

BEST ACTRESS in a LEADING ROLE
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”

BEST ACTOR in a SUPPORTING ROLE
Kenneth Branagh – “My Week with Marilyn”
Jonah Hill – “Moneyball”
Nick Nolte – “Warrior”
Christopher Plummer – “Beginners”
Max von Sydow – “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

BEST ACTRESS in a SUPPORTING ROLE
Bérénice Bejo – “The Artist”
Jessica Chastain – “The Help”
Melissa McCarthy – “Bridesmaids”
Janet McTeer – “Albert Nobbs”
Octavia Spencer – “The Help”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
“The Artist” by Michel Hazanavicius
“Bridesmaids” by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
“Margin Call” by J.C. Chandor
“Midnight in Paris” by Woody Allen
“A Separation” by Asghar Farhadi

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
“The Descendants” by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
“Hugo” by John Logan
“The Ides of March” by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
“Moneyball” by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin Story by Stan Chervin
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” by Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“A Cat in Paris”
“Chico & Rita”
“Kung Fu Panda 2”
“Puss in Boots”
“Rango”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
“Bullhead” Belgium
“Footnote” Israel
“In Darkness” Poland
“Monsieur Lazhar” Canada
“A Separation” Iran

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

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
“The Artist” – Guillaume Schiffman
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – Jeff Cronenweth
“Hugo” – Robert Richardson
“The Tree of Life” – Emmanuel Lubezki
“War Horse” – Janusz Kaminski

BEST EDITING
“The Artist” – Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
“The Descendants” – Kevin Tent
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
“Hugo” – Thelma Schoonmaker
“Moneyball” – Christopher Tellefsen

BEST ART DIRECTION
“The Artist” – Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” – Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
“Hugo” – Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
“Midnight in Paris” – Production Design: Anne Seibel; Set Decoration: Hélène Dubreuil
“War Horse” – Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
“Anonymous” – Lisy Christl
“The Artist” – Mark Bridges
“Hugo” – Sandy Powell
“Jane Eyre” – Michael O’Connor
“W.E.” – Arianne Phillips

BEST SOUND MIXING
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson
“Hugo” – Tom Fleischman and John Midgley
“Moneyball” – Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco and Ed Novick
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” – Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin
“War Horse” – Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson

BEST SOUND EDITING
“Drive” – Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – Ren Klyce
“Hugo” – Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” – Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
“War Horse” – Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” – Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson
“Hugo” – Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning
“Real Steel” – Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” – Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier

BEST MAKEUP
“Albert Nobbs” – Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” – Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
“The Iron Lady” – Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

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

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets” – Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
“Real in Rio” from “Rio” – Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown Lyric by Siedah Garrett

BEST SHORT FILM, LIVE ACTION
“Pentecost” – Peter McDonald and Eimear O’Kane
“Raju” – Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren
“The Shore” – Terry George and Oorlagh George
“Time Freak” – Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey
“Tuba Atlantic” – Hallvar Witzø

BEST SHORT FILM, ANIMATION
“Dimanche/Sunday” – Patrick Doyon
“The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” – William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg
“La Luna” – Enrico Casarosa
“A Morning Stroll” – Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe
“Wild Life” – Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby

BEST DOCUMENTARY, SHORT SUBJECT
“The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement” – Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin
“God Is the Bigger Elvis” – Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson
“Incident in New Baghdad” – James Spione
“Saving Face” – Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
“The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom” – Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen

There you have it, folks. My fiery reactions to come shortly, after I blow off some steam.

It Hath Come: My Final 2012 Oscar Nomination Predictions

January 23, 2012 Leave a comment

The time is here. Unbelievable. I woke up this morning with such a sense of elation, pride and sheer terror. As I believe I had stated at this point, last January, I find this point in the race to be more nerve-racking and exciting than that fateful day in February. This is when, in my mind, the true winners are announced. I know it’s a savage cliche in this industry, but to be real, I truly believe that it is an honor just to be nominated. Especially when people like Harvey Weinstein exist in the world. If you are able to squeeze out a nomination without that “The Weinstein Company” in your opening credits, then I say “Bravo” to you, sir or madam. Besides, when you look at history, ninety percent of the time, it’s the films that don’t win that get remembered so much more. I’d say that those films are far better company to keep.

Well, I’ll take this time, beforehand, to address any sudden change or surge that has occurred since my last batch of nominations. The big one, indeed came after the announcement of the BAFTA nominations and “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” suddenly became a legitimate contender. Granted, I do not believe (though some seem to) that it will receive the same level of recognition (11 nominations. Whew.), but I am fully expecting it to pop up in a few categories. In fact, perhaps my biggest “out-on-a-limb” prediction is Gary Oldman snagging his first career mention. I mean in reality, who cares what the Globes say and the SAG nominations are from a random sampling, so who knows how many of them have even heard of Oldman or understand his plight. I believe that, at this point, members of the Academy’s acting branch know that it’s about damn time to give this legendary actor his due. Plus, the British contingent of the Academy may help push him over the edge.

If you had asked any prognosticator two months ago if they believed that, on the day before nominations, “War Horse” would be on the bubble, they’d have said the chances were slim. Yet, here we are. If it hadn’t been for that Producers Guild nomination, which at this point, almost seems strange, this film would be considered completely out of contention. Lacking any kind of mention from the DGA, the SAG, the WGA or the ASC, the film’s chances have dropped through the floor. Many believe that “Bridesmaids” has a better chance, at this point.

Speaking of “Bridesmaids,” I’ll address its status along with a few other “on-the-bubble” films. Many are hoping and believing that this will be the first Judd Apatow production to make the shortlist. Yet, despite all of its guild nominations, I think it will fail to make the cut. The Academy’s balloting procedures, which require a large number of #1 votes, will prevent it. Now it seems that “The Tree of Life” should be able to excel by those standards, due to the fervent passion of its followers, However, I believe that this film has seen its day with the critics, but will not register as well with the industry. The fate of “Drive” will follow along a similar path, despite a push from the BAFTAs. In a world where there was still an assured number of ten nominees, one or all of these might sneak in, but not this year.

Well, on to those nomination predictions. Won’t be able to say that again until, well, the day after this year’s Oscars. Once again, these are ranked by chance of getting nominated. If I put a film or individual at the number one spot, that does not necessarily mean I think it will win. That’s a whole different ballpark.

Here comes the part that’s hardest: double crossing my fingers. For someone in my position who has two loves, predicting the Oscars and loving films, this day is a double-edged sword. As much as I want my own favorites to somehow work their way into the categories, in many cases, I’m predicting against them. Therefore, no matter what happens, I’ll be feeling a twinge of sadness. But as Sasha Stone, one of the best analysts of the Oscar race and my personal idol says, “The trick is not minding.”

Here goes nothing:

BEST PICTURE

1. “The Artist”
2. “Hugo”
3. “The Descendants”
4. “The Help”
5. “Midnight in Paris”
6. “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
7. “Moneyball

8. “War Horse” (if there are eight)
9. “Bridesmaids” (if there are nine)
10. “The Tree of Life” (if there are ten)

Alt 1: “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
Alt 2: “Drive”

Read more…

“Tinker Tailor” Leads the 2012 BAFTA Nominations

January 18, 2012 Leave a comment

I suppose it is a little misleading to say that Tomas Alfredson’s film led the nominations with 11 when “The Artist” actually had 12, but then again, does anyone really want to read another headline about the little silent-film-that-could dominating yet another awards body? I didn’t think so. And while it had been expected that the British Academy Awards would give a little push to the waining “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” this is certainly much more than anyone could have expected. It’s quite possible that this kind of support from the British contingent of the AMPAS might be enough to boost the film over the rim in several different categories, including Best Actor for Gary Oldman.

There’s a few other surprises and shakeups amidst the nominees. “Hugo” received a total of nine nominations, including Best Director for Martin Scorsese and yet failed to be mentioned for Best Picture or Adapted Screenplay. Meanwhile, “Drive” picked up four nominations including Picture and a fairly weird mention for Carey Mulligan. Why she was nominated for mediocre work here and not for her show-stopping performance in “Shame” is absolutely beyond me. What’s even stranger about the “Drive” nominations is the lack of Albert Brooks. This is the second highbrow snub of the man who was taking down critics awards left and right. I might not even feel bad about it if it wasn’t for his being replaced by the goofy and almost unnecessary performance by Jim Broadbent in “The Iron Lady.”

I was a bit disappointed to see “Moneyball” miss out on a Best Picture nomination. Though, it’s not exactly something that Europeans would respond to as much as American do. On the other hand, Jonah Hill’s nomination, coupled with his equivalent mentions from the SAG and Golden Globes, puts him among the top contenders for an Oscar nomination. If asked a couple months ago, I never would have expected this as a reality.

Of all these nominations, I don’t think anything has spawned more outrage, and rightfully so, then the disgusting snub of Olivia Colman for Best Actress. It’s true, not many know her name yet (though hopefully that will change soon) and the film itself is tiny enough that you may have had to drive across multiple states just to see it. Therefore, exclusion in the USA is understandable. But for the Brits to deny even a nomination to what might be the best performance of the year, in a place where the film is widespread and thriving, is absolutely appalling and degrading. Without a doubt, the BAFTA has dropped the ball like it never has before.

The official awards ceremony is being held in London on February 12th. I might actually set aside the time to watch the live stream, this year. With that said, here are all of the nominees:

Best Film
“The Artist”
“The Descendants”
“Drive”
“The Help”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”

Best British Film
“My Week With Marilyn”
“Senna”
“Shame”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
“We Need to Talk About Kevin”

Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius – “The Artist”
Nicolas Winding Refn – “Drive”
Martin Scorsese – “Hugo”
Tomas Alfredson – “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy”
Lynne Ramsay – “We Need to Talk About Kevin”

Best Actor
George Clooney – “The Descendants”
Jean Dujardin – “The Artist”
Michael Fassbender – “Shame”
Gary Oldman – “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
Brad Pitt – “Moneyball”

Best Actress
Bérénice Bejo – “The Artist”
Viola Davis – “The Help”
Meryl Streep – “The Iron Lady”
Tilda Swinton – “We Need to Talk About Kevin”
Michelle Williams – “My Week With Marilyn”

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh – “My Week With Marilyn”
Jim Broadbent – “The Iron Lady”
Jonah Hill – “Moneyball”
Philip Seymour Hoffman – “The Ides of March”
Christopher Plummer – “Beginners”

Best Supporting Actress
Jessica Chastain – “The Help”
Judi Dench – “My Week With Marilyn”
Melissa McCarthy – “Bridesmaids”
Carey Mulligan – “Drive”
Octavia Spencer – “The Help”

Best Original Screenplay
“The Artist”
“Bridesmaids”
“The Guard”
“The Iron Lady”
“Midnight in Paris”

Best Adapted Screenplay
“The Descendants”
“The Help”
“The Ides of March”
“Moneyball”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”

Best Foreign Language Film
“Incendies”
“Pina”
“Potiche”
“A Separation”
“The Skin I Live In”

Best Documentary
“George Harrison: Living in the Material World”
“Project Nim”
“Senna”

Best Animated Feature
“The Adventures of Tintin”
“Arthur Christmas”
“Rango”

Best Art Direction
“The Artist”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”
“Hugo”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
“War Horse”

Best Cinematography
“The Artist”
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
“Hugo”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
“War Horse”

Best Costume Design
“The Artist”
“Hugo”
“Jane Eyre”
“My Week With Marilyn”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”

Best Film Editing
“The Artist”
“Drive”
“Hugo”
“Senna”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”

Best Makeup & Hair
“The Artist”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”
“Hugo”
“The Iron Lady”
“My Week With Marilyn”

Best Music
“The Artist”
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
“Hugo”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
“War Horse”

Best Sound
“The Artist”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”
“Hugo”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
“War Horse”

Best Visual Effects
“The Adventures of Tintin”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”
“Hugo”
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
“War Horse”

Best Debut by a British Director, Writer or Producer
Joe Cornish – “Attack the Block”
Will Sharpe, Tom Kingsley and Sarah Brocklehurst – “Black Pond”
Ralph Fiennes – “Coriolanus”
Richard Ayoade – “Submarine”
Paddy Considine – “Tyrannosaur”