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Updated Oscar Predictions

December 19, 2010 Leave a comment

What with everything that has happened in the last month in regards to the critics, the Globes and the SAGs, I figure that it’s time to do a full update on my Oscar predictions. Not a lot has shifted in the technical cateogories, except that “The Social Network” is looking more and more like a sure thing for a Best Original Score nomination. I’ve also taken “The King’s Speech” out of Best Editing. If it does miss that nomination, and somehow goes on to win Best Picture, it will be the first film in 30 years to win the big one without the support of the editors. Those two awards somehow go hand in hand.

As far as the acting categories go, Best Actor seems pretty much locked. Jesse Eisenberg has carved his name in stone and is just as solid as the top two contenders. There’s an outside chance that Ryan Gosling might break in and knock out one of the two veterans, but becoming less and less likely. A big question for Best Actress is who will take the place of Hilary Swank, after the odd as hell SAG nomination. I’m still betting on Lesley Manville, and not just because of the NBR stat, but because it’s a truly endearing character. However, much like Gosling, Williams is looming, and I can definitely see her getting a nomination, much like Laura Linney did for “The Savages” in 2007, and she didn’t even have the Golden Globe nod.

I think its safe to say that Justin Timberlake has fallen out of the running, especially since Andrew Garfield is no longer a lock. I refuse to predict Jeremy Renner until there’s no hope left. Never thought I’d find myself rooting against one of my favorite performers. My how the tables turn. I am however, hoping that the Academy will remain as bold as the SAG and nominate John Hawkes, but its a crap shoot. In Best Supporting Actress, it’s pretty solid that both of “The Fighter”‘s ladies will be making it in, though Leo definitely has the edge. Mila Kunis and Jacki Weaver will fight it out for the last slot.

One thing that I think is safe to say is that “The Fighter” is now as solid a contender as it has ever been. We shall see how it fares with the rest of the guilds, but from the SAGs and Globes, alone, it has gained even more ground than “Black Swan.”

Read all of my predictions after the jump:

BEST PICTURE

1. The Social Network
2. The King’s Speech
3. Toy Story 3
4. Inception
5. Black Swan
6. The Fighter
7. The Kids Are All Right
8. 127 Hours
9. True Grit
10. Winter’s Bone

Alt 1: The Town
Alt 2: Another Year

Read more…

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Screen Actors Guild Nominations: My Thoughts

December 16, 2010 Leave a comment

While trying not to put the cart before the horse, it is important to realize that the SAG is the real deal. What we have here is the most accurate precursor in regards to matching up to what the Oscar nominations will look like.

First of all, the actors make up, 3 times over, the largest contingent of the Academy, with producers and executives in 2nd, sound personnel in 3rd and writers in 4th. And while Best Ensemble does not always line up with Best Picture, the singular achievement nominations have lined up with Oscars, per say, about 80 to 90 percent of the time. Last year, was perhaps the most similar, with only 1 nominee in Best Supporting Actress not making it to Oscar (Diane Kruger). Best Actor, Actress and Supporting Actress lined up perfectly.

That being said, I’m mostly happy with these nominations, despite a few hiccups. Without a doubt, the most shocking and disturbing omission is Andrew Garfield in “The Social Network.” I thought that, if anything, he would be locked and Jesse Eisenberg would still have an uphill battle, despite all of the critical love. However, Garfield was the heart and soul of the film and anyone who can blaze through Sorkin dialogue, while still maintaining that level of emotion and integrity, deserves recognition.

The trouble is, who is to blame for this slight. If it is John Hawkes, then I cannot mourn for too long, because he is the one man that I want to appear in the eventual Oscar lineup ahead of Garfield. John Hawkes gives, quite simply, one of the best performances of the year and a true underdog story to boot. However, if it is Jeremy Renner who passed Andrew Garfield by, then I am appalled. Renner was absolutely stellar in “The Hurt Locker,” realistic, unique and all heart. In “The Town,” he is good, maybe the best performance in the film, but really nothing special at all. I still cannot believe the amount of buzz he’s receiving.

Another weird turn this morning was Hilary Swank getting in for her only slightly above average performance in “Conviction,” knocking out critical favorites Lesley Manville in “Another Year” and Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine.” What’s really weird about this is her inclusion, but not Sam Rockwell or Juliette Lewis, the individuals in the film that people have actually been talking about. A true out-of-the-blue nomination, and really kind of a hilarious one seeing that she is once again up against Annette Bening, who lost the Best Actress race to Swank twice in the last 11 years.

A little known fact, if Lesley Manville is not nominated for an Oscar, she will be the first woman to win the National Board of Review award for Best Actress and not go on to an Oscar nod since the year 1990 when Mia Farrow failed to secure a nomination for Woody Allen’s “Alice.” In superstitious terms, that’s a long streak to be broken.

Mila Kunis made a surprise appearance here. Kind of boggled by that, because as funny and peppy as she is, it’s really not that solid of a performance. Barbara Hershey was a standout, if ever anyone could stand out around Natalie Portman’s brilliance.

Now, the good things. I’ve already addressed my absolute elation for John Hawkes come-from-behind nomination, even if he has a long shot, even if hell does freeze over, of actually winning. I must also congratulate Jesse Eisenberg, who has now all but engraved his nomination in cement. Truly brilliant work. and while I haven’t seen “True Grit,” it’s nice to see Jeff Bridges show up here, especially after his snub at the Golden Globes.

While I wasn’t really expecting any kind of showing for it, it’s kind of sad to see yet another Christopher Nolan film snubbed from the Ensemble Cast category, let alone any other category in the case of “Inception.” True, the first thing the mind goes to when it comes to this film is the visuals, the story and the direction. Yet, it is an ensemble piece, through and through, with so many actors (Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joesph Gordon Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Marion Cotillard, and, of course, Tom Hardy) all pulling their weight more than needed. And while “Black Swan” does have decent performances all around, it’s really Natalie Portman’s show. One deserved this nomination more than the other, and it’s going home empty-handed.

My longshot predictions for the win would probably go like this:

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST
“The King’s Speech”
alt: “The Fighter”

BEST ACTOR
Colin Firth – “The King’s Speech”
alt: James Franco – “127 Hours”

BEST ACTRESS
Annette Bening “The Kids Are All Right”
alt: Natalie Portman – “Black Swan”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christian Bale – “The Fighter”
alt: Geoffrey Rush – “The King’s Speech

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Melissa Leo – “The Fighter”
alt: Helena Bonham Carter – “The King’s Speech

We shall see.

17th Screen Actors Guild Nominations

December 16, 2010 Leave a comment

All I will post my full reactions in the next few hours. In the meantime I leave you with one thought: John Hawkes, John Hawkes, JOHN GODDAMN HAWKES!!!!!!! Thank you very much.

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST
“Black Swan”
“The Fighter”
“The Kids Are All Right”
“The King’s Speech”
“The Social Network”

BEST ACTOR in a LEADING ROLE
Jeff Bridges – “True Grit”
Robert Duvall – “Get Low”
Jesse Eisenberg – “The Social Network”
Colin Firth – “The King’s Speech”
James Franco – “127 Hours”

BEST ACTRESS in a LEADING ROLE
Annette Bening – “The Kids Are All Right”
Nicole Kidman – “The Rabbit Hole”
Jennifer Lawrence – “Winter’s Bone”
Natalie Portman – “Black Swan”
Hilary Swank – “Conviction”

BEST ACTOR in a SUPPORTING ROLE
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”

BEST ACTRESS in a SUPPORTING ROLE
Amy Adams – “The Fighter”
Helena Bonham-Carter – “The King’s Speech”
Mila Kunis – “Black Swan”
Melissa Leo – “The Fighter”
Hailee Steinfeld – “True Grit”

68th Annual Golden Globe Nominations

December 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Well, here they are. Some good things and bad things. It appears that “The King’s Speech” leads with 7, while “The Social Network” and “The Fighter” in a close second with 6.

More later, but I leave you with this. Leave it to the HFPA to nominate one of the worst-reviewed and worst received films of the year for 3 awards including Best Picture for the sole reason that it has Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie in it. I don’t know if it’s better to use that excuse, or to just say they have bad taste. Starfuckers, we salute you.

Best Picture, Drama
Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The King’s Speech
The Social Network

Best Picture, Comedy/Musical
Alice in Wonderland
Burlesque
The Kids Are All Right
Red
The Tourist

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

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
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine
Natalie Portman, Black Swan

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

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

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

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
Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network
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

Best Original Score
Alexander Desplot – The King’s Speech
Danny Elfman – Alice in Wonderalnd
A.R. Robin – 127 Hours
Trent Reznor – The Social Network
Hans Zimmer – Inception

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

Best Animated Film
Tangled
Toy Story 3
How To Train Your Dragon
Despicable Me
The Illusionist

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

Toronto Film Critics Association Announces

December 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Toronto has just announced not only a “Social Network” win, but more or less a complete sweep of their awards. One of the most interesting of these awards, and I believe the first of its kind, is the Best Supporting Actor Award going to Armie Hammer in his duel performance as the Winklevi. While I believe Andrew Garfield is the soul of the supporting roles in this film, it’s very nice to see Hammer get some recognition for such an energized and inspired performance.

Another big surprise is “How to Train Your Dragon” upheaving “Toy Story 3” in Best Animated Feature. “HTTYD” is an enjoyable and thrilling film, but “Toy Story 3” is one of the greatest animated achievements of all time, in my opinion. It deserves a sweep of that category as much as “The Social Network deserves its.

Here’s the full list of winners:

BEST PICTURE
“The Social Network”
R/U: “Black Swan” AND “Uncle Boonme Who Can Recall His Past Lives”

BEST DIRECTOR
David Fincher – “The Social Network”
R/U: Darren Aronofsky – “The Social Network” AND Christopher Nolan – “Inception”

BEST ACTOR
Jesse Eisenberg – “The Social Network”
R/U: Colin Firth – “The King’s Speech” AND James Franco – “127 Hours”

BEST ACTRESS
Jennifer Lawrence – “Winter’s Bone”
R/U: Natalie Portman – “Black Swan” AND Michelle Williams – “Blue Valentine”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Armie Hammer – “The Social Network”
R/U: Geoffrey Rush – “The King’s Speech” AND Christian Bale – “The Fighter”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Hailee Steinfeld – “True Grit”
R/U: Amy Adams – “The Fighter” AND Melissa Leo – “The Fighter”

BEST SCREENPLAY
“The Social Network”
R/U: “The King’s Speech” AND “True Grit”

BEST FIRST FEATURE
“Exit Through the Gift Shop”
R/U: “Get Low” AND “Monsters”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“How to Train Your Dragon”
R/U: “Despicable Me” AND “Toy Story 3”

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
“Exit Through the Gift Shop”
R/U: “Inside Job” AND “Marwencol”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
“Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives”
R/U: “Mother” AND “Of Gods and Men”

Golden Globe Predictions 2010

December 13, 2010 Leave a comment

So, as many of you know, I hate the Golden Globes. They’re a joke. The HFPA is a group of about 90 foreign film journalists who reside in Hollywood, almost none of them have anyone ever heard of. They make some of the most pedestrian choices that can be made for awards presentation. Once in a while, they have a good idea, but for the most part, they either go with the grain or go the blandest route. More than anything else, however, they are STARFUCKERS, excuse my language. But it’s true. These awards are meant to cater to movie stars and their own popularity with said persons. They’re a joke.

That being said, they are still one of the most influential and popular awards shows of the year, and therefore I will pay them credence.

Here are my predictions for the 68th Golden Globe Nominations, announced tomorrow morning. The full list after the jump.

BEST PICTURE, DRAMA
“The King’s Speech”
“The Social Network”
“The Fighter”
“Black Swan”
“The Ghost Writer”
“Inception”
Alt: “Another Year”

BEST PICTURE, MUSICAL or COMEDY
“The Kids Are All Right”
“Alice in Wonderland”
“Made in Dagenham”
“Burlesque”
“Love and Other Drugs”
Alt: “Nowhere Boy”

Read more…

“The Social Network” Awards Tally

December 13, 2010 2 comments

All right, I have a feeling that some people are sick of not only my love for “The Social Network,” but also my endless praise for the amount of wins that it’s getting. But this really is a sight to behold. This is an event of epic proportions. Not even such immense critical darlings such as “Sideways,” “Brokeback Mountain,” or “Slumdog Millionaire,” had anywhere near the amount of unanimous support for a single film. This is probably one of the biggest coronations of a work of cinema since “Schindler’s List,” if not more so.

And you know what? It deserves it.

Here is the full tally of critics awards that it has won, thus far, for I think we’ve nearly reached the halfway point:

BEST PICTURE

WINS
Boston Society of Film Critics
Chicago Film Critics Association
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association
Detroit Film Critics Society
Florida Film Critics Circle
Houston Film Critics Society
Indiana Film Journalists Association
International Press Academy
Las Vegas Film Critics Society
Los Angeles Film Critics Association
National Board of Review
New York Film Critics Circle
New York Film Critics Online
San Francisco Film Critics Circle
Southeastern Film Critics Association
St. Louis Film Critics Association
Toronto Film Critics Association
Washington D.C. Film Critics Association

NOMINATIONS
Broadcast Film Critics Association (not yet awarded)
Golden Globe (not yet awarded)
San Diego Film Critics

BEST DIRECTOR

WINS
Boston Society of Film Critics
Chicago Film Critics Association
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association
Florida Film Critics Circle
Houston Film Critics Society
Indiana Film Journalists Association
International Press Academy
Las Vegas Film Critics Society
Los Angeles Film Critics Association (TIE with Carlos Assayas)
National Board of Review
New York Film Critics Circle
New York Film Critics Online
San Francisco Film Critics Circle (TIE with Darren Aronofsky)
Southeastern Film Critics Association
St. Louis Film Critics Association
Toronto Film Critics Association
Washington D.C. Film Critics Association

NOMINATIONS
Broadcast Film Critics Association (not yet awarded)
Detroit Film Critics Society
Golden Globe (not yet awarded)
San Diego Film Critics

BEST ACTOR

WINS
Boston Society of Film Critics
Houston Film Critics Society
Indiana Film Journalists Association (runner-up)
National Board of Review
Toronto Film Critics Association

NOMINATIONS
Broadcast Film Critics Association (not yet awarded)
Detroit Film Critics Society
Golden Globe (not yet awarded)
International Press Academy
San Diego Film Critics
Screen Actors Guild Award (not yet awarded)
St. Louis Film Critics Association

BEST SCREENPLAY

WINS
Boston Society of Film Critics
Chicago Film Critics Association
Dallas-Forth Worth Film Critics Association
Florida Film Critics Circle (adapted)
Houston Film Critics Society
Indiana Film Journalists Association
International Press Academy
Las Vegas Film Critics Society
Los Angeles Film Critics Association
National Board of Review
New York Film Critics Online
San Diego Film Critics Society (adapted)
San Francisco Film Critics Circle
Southeastern Film Critics Association (adapted)
St. Louis Film Critics Association (adapted)
Toronto Film Critics Association (adapted)
Washington D.C. Film Critics Association (adapted)

NOMINATIONS
Broadcast Film Critics Association (not yet awarded)
Golden Globe (not yet nominated)

This list is not even counting the countless nominations for Andrew Garfield in Best Supporting Actor and several more wins for Trent Reznor and Atticus Finch for Best Original Score. My guess is that the film will take home at least half, if not all of the Picture, Director and Screenplay awards that have yet to be awarded, and maybe even a few more Best Actor awards to boot.

And there’s much more to come. Read about it, here.