Sunday, January 23, 2011

Oscar 2011: Nomination Predictions


Sadly, the more and more you keep your eye on the Oscar game, the less and less special the big show seems. That said, I still get extremely giddy when nomination day arrives (two days away!). I'm not always the most reliable pundit, but the predictions keep coming, out of admiration, tradition, obsession, etc. Here's what I'm thinking this year:

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"

I still can't believe Mila Kunis is a serious contender, but here we are. Bonham Carter has been a safe lock since before the race began, yet she poses little threat to the "Fighter" gals, one of whom will win this thing. With a certain young prodigy presumably headed to lead, I'll give the fifth slot to Jacki Weaver, who's the most deserving of the entire group.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR


Christian Bale, "The Fighter"
Andrew Garfield, "The Social Network"
Jeremy Renner, "The Town"
Mark Ruffalo, "The Kids Are All Right"
Geoffrey Rush, "The King's Speech"

Not much suspense here, especially since Bale is bound to march to the podium. I don't see any other candidate being vulnerable for a nom, though some are thinking Matt Damon has a shot for his work in "True Grit," while others  think the late Pete Postlethwaite ("The Town") or the recovering Michael Douglas ("Wall Street 2") have an outisde chance. My favorite? Garfield by a mile.

BEST ACTRESS


Annette Bening, "The Kids Are All Right"
Nicole Kidman, "Rabbit Hole"
Jennifer Lawrence, "Winter's Bone"
Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"
Hailee Steinfeld, "True Grit"

I know what you're thinking: Steinfeld is going to land in supporting, and, besides, her inclusion here makes this category too, too young. But apart from the solid foursome of Bening, Kidman, Lawrence and Portman, no other actress has emerged as a major contender, and the very surprising success of "True Grit" has only brought more attention to Steinfeld's breakout turn. I'm thinking the voters will nudge her into lead.

BEST ACTOR


Jeff Bridges, "True Grit"
Robert DuVall, "Get Low"
Jesse Eisenberg, "The Social Network"
Colin Firth, "The King's Speech"
James Franco, "127 Hours"

Yes, this is indeed the widely anticipate five, and unless Ryan Gosling can work some miracles, it's the five that will be invited to the Kodak. I can't say I agree that last year's winner Jeff Bridges deserves to be here again, but with all the "True Grit" success, he's practically a lock. Besides, if Steinfeld can get in, there's no way Bridges won't. I'd love to see an Eisenberg win, but no one's taking it from Firth.

BEST DIRECTOR


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

At this point, it seems best to go with the DGA top five, which surprisingly includes David O. Russell rather than the Coen boys. I'm all for Nolan, Aronofsky and Fincher making the cut, and everyone knew Hooper was a sure thing, but Russell nabbing the final slot seems so loony to me. I'd much rather see it go to one of 2010's high-achieving females, like Lisa Cholodenko or, better yet, Debra Granik.

BEST PICTURE


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

The most obvious snubbee here is "127 Hours," which started strong in the season, then continually lost steam. There's some talk about "Winter's Bone" getting bumped out, though I certainly hope not. This category needs a stronger indie presence desperately. As for the blockbuster end, "The Town" and "Inception" should fill that quota. Possible upset? I could see the doc "Waiting for 'Superman'" squeezing into the list, but it's not bloody likely. Tune in Tuesday morning to find out.

4 comments:

Brandon Schultz said...

I know this is about nominations, and not wins, but I still want to say this: I think it would be stellar if Christian Bale did NOT win. Come on...it could happen...Sean Penn beat Mickey Rourke! I would be even more excited if Jesse Eisenberg beat Colin Firth, but that is just getting a little too carried away.

Kurtis O said...

Now I'm reading that folks are predicting Javier Bardem will sneak into the Best Actor race for his work in "Biutiful" (which we're watching this week), while others think Julianne Moore may join Bening in the fight for Best Actress. only 14 hours to go!

John said...

Hey, Kurt, do you have any predictions for best original screenplay and best adapted screenplay?

Kurtis O said...

John -- I normally only call the top 6 categories, but screenplay will prob. go like so:

ORIGINAL:
The Kids Are All Right
Inception
The King's Speech
Black Swan
The Fighter

ADAPTED:
The Social Network
True Grit
Winter's Bone
127 Hours
Toy Story 3 (don't ask me what that one's adapted from!)

I'd nominate Please Give for original and Rabbit Hole for adapted.