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Suskie Susquatch

Title: Oscar predictions.
Posted: January 26, 2011 (06:36 PM)
Most people are waiting until later to do these, but I wanted to get this out of my system before I get sick of hearing about the Oscars.


127 Hours
Black Swan
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The Kingís Speech
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winterís Bone

NOTABLE OMISSIONS: Rabbit Hole is a great little drama thatís not getting much year-end attention, and people seem to have forgotten about The Ghost Writer, one of my favorite films of 2010. Pretty solid selection otherwise.

SHOULD WIN: Well, Inception was my favorite movie of the year. Several others on here come close, but no other movie in 2010 wowed me as much, or gave me as much to talk about.

WILL WIN: There are plenty of nominations we can rule out straight away. Black Swan and The Fighter are both gaining award season momentum for their standout performances, but while the Academy will likely honor them as such, thatís the most they can hope for. Inception could have been a dark horse if Nolan had received a Best Director nomination; as it stands, it can only hope to dominate the technical categories. Kids is a comedy, and can more realistically expect to be honored for its screenplay; same for Toy Story 3 and the animated category. True Grit wonít win, just because. 127 Hours and Winterís Bone are in danger of going home empty-handed.

That leaves The Kingís Speech and The Social Network. The former seems to be the frontrunner, being an Oscar-friendly historical drama that leads the pack with 12 nominations total. Honestly, though? I just donít see it happening. In recent years the Academy has been ever-so-slightly edging away from awarding its highest honor to this sort of awards season bait, and The Social Network still easily classifies as something theyíd like: relevant, well-written, well-acted, highly-regarded and damn good.

Iím betting on The Social Network. The only thing going against it is that the Academy Awards donít usually follow the footsteps of the Golden Globes, but I see them making an exception this year.


Darren Aronofsky Ė Black Swan
Joel Coen, Ethan Coen Ė True Grit
David Fincher Ė The Social Network
Tom Hooper Ė The Kingís Speech
David O. Russell Ė The Fighter

NOTABLE OMISSIONS: Obviously, Christopher Nolan. It takes so much ingenuity to make a movie like Inception work as well as it did. You canít tell me with a straight face that little character dramas like The Fighter and The Kingís Speech took more skill to direct. And while I know itís not popular, Enter the Void is one of 2010ís most inventive movies, and its visionary director, Gaspar Noť, deserves a mention for that.

SHOULD WIN: Black Swan was the only movie where the direction actually jumped out at me, but I think Iíd still vote for the energetic work by Fincher, whose last several films have demonstrated considerable range on his part.

WILL WIN: Best Picture and Best Director almost always go to the same film. There have been plenty of exceptions, but even if The Kingís Speech goes on to win the top award, I canít see the Academy giving this one to anybody other than Fincher.


Javier Bardem Ė Biutiful
Jeff Bridges Ė True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg Ė The Social Network
Colin Firth Ė The Kingís Speech
James Franco Ė 127 Hours

NOTABLE OMISSIONS: There were too many this year to be condensed to a mere five, but off the top of my head: Aaron Eckhart in Rabbit Hole, Robert Duvall in Get Low, George Clooney in The American, Ryan Reynolds in Buried, Jim Carrey in I Love You Philip Morris, and Leonardo DiCaprio in Shutter Island. And Ryan Goslingís snub for Blue Valentine is the biggest shocker of all, especially considering that his co-star, Michelle Williams, was nominated.

SHOULD WIN: James Franco, quite easily in my book.

WILL WIN: Firth gave precisely the sort of performance that the Academy loves. He gave a way better performance last year in A Single Man and Franco showed far more range this year, but nevertheless, Firth is the safest bet.


Annette Bening Ė The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman Ė Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence Ė Winterís Bone
Natalie Portman Ė Black Swan
Michelle Williams Ė Blue Valentine

NOTABLE OMISSIONS: I donít know if sheíd qualify for this yearís awards since the movie was released overseas in 2009, but Noomi Rapace gave, bar none, the best female performance of the year in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Other omissions include Tilda Swinton in I Am Love and Gemma Arterton in The Disappearance of Alice Creed.

SHOULD WIN: Thereís a lot that I admire about Natalie Portmanís work in Black Swan, but Iím surprised to find myself leaning in the direction of the effortlessly natural Bening, who stood out in a fine ensemble cast in Kids.

WILL WIN: Had Hailee Steinfeld been nominated in this category instead of the supporting race, this would be a whole different ball game. As it stands, Portman hasnít lost any momentum (even by the unfortunately-timed release of an Ashton Kutcher rom-com) and is the safe bet. Still, if thereís an upset, itíll be Bening.


Christian Bale Ė The Fighter
John Hawkes Ė Winterís Bone
Jeremy Renner Ė The Town
Mark Ruffalo Ė The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush Ė The Kingís Speech

NOTABLE OMISSIONS: Both Justin Timberlake and especially Andrew Garfield were robbed for not being recognized for their work in The Social Network. Also, newcomer Miles Teller was a standout in Rabbit Hole.

SHOULD WIN: Man, tough one. I was very impressed with Renner, but wished the movie had given him more to do. The rest were all good as well (and itís nice to see Ruffalo got a nod), but Iíll have to vote for Rush, who was the best thing about The Kingís Speech.

WILL WIN: Bale has been the frontrunner for this category for a while now, but The Kingís Speech winning in total nominations changed that a bit. I could easily see the Academy siding with Rush, though if I must guess, I still say itíll be Bale.


Amy Adams Ė The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter Ė The Kingís Speech
Melissa Leo Ė The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld Ė True Grit
Jacki Weaver Ė Animal Kingdom

NOTABLE OMISSIONS: Both Julianne Moore and Mia Wasikowska did fine work in The Kids Are All Right. And how the hell was Mila Kunis not nominated for Black Swan? Other female supporting roles that stuck out for me this year include Olivia Williams in The Ghost Writer, Violante Placido in The American, and Rebecca Hall in The Town.

SHOULD WIN: Steinfeld, frankly, deserves better than this; it was a lead role. Still, her placement here should make it easier for her to snatch up the award she very much deserves.

WILL WIN: Steinfeld.


127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winterís Bone

NOTABLE OMISSIONS: Iíll say it again: The Ghost Writer is a damn taut political thriller. Plus, while I know itís not exactly Oscar bait, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is easily one of 2010ís funniest and cleverest films.

SHOULD WIN: Aaron Sorkin had the difficult task of making a movie about the creation of a web site entertaining. He succeeded. The Social Network wins this one.

WILL WIN: Even if it doesnít go on to win big, The Social Network will almost certainly take home this prize.


Another Year
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The Kingís Speech

NOTABLE OMISSIONS: In a category where the Academy traditionally recognizes comedies it doesnít want to give Best Picture, it kinda sucks not seeing Cyrus on here.

SHOULD WIN: Whoa, what the hell is Inception doing here? I loved it, but the screenplay was the worst thing about it. Anyway, Kids was a very funny ensemble comedy with a cast of three-dimensional, well-established characters. It easily deserves this one.

WILL WIN: Like I said, the Academy does traditionally use this award to honor comedies that are well-regarded, and The Kids Are All Right fits. People are predicting that Inception might win as compensation for Nolan not getting a nod for direction; these people donít realize that these other nominations are his compensation. The Kingís Speech could win, but I wouldnít bet on it.


How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

NOTABLE OMISSIONS: Nothing that I care about.

SHOULD WIN: Toy Story 3. The dragon movie was pretty good, but, I mean, címon.

WILL WIN: Toy Story 3 without breaking a sweat.


Biutiful (Mexico)
Dogtooth (Greece)
In a Better World (Denmark)
Incendies (Canada)
Outside the Law (Algeria)

NOTABLE OMISSIONS: Mother was one of my favorite films of the year. Iím sure there are plenty of others, but there are far too many obscure foreign-language films released every year to keep up with all of them.

SHOULD WIN: I havenít seen any of these, and in fact had only heard of Biutiful until now. Iím not in a position where I can form an opinion on these, at least until they see a wider release schedule.

WILL WIN: This is always a very difficult category to predict. The thing about the Foreign Language Film award is that voters are required to have seen all five of the nominees before theyíre allowed to choose a favorite (which youíd think would be the rule for every award, but here we are), and movies are often nominated for this award before they get an official release. So in many cases, the winner of this particular Oscar is a movie that no oneís really heard of.

The most famous example of this was in 2007, when everyone was betting on Panís Labyrinth taking home the Foreign Language Film award, only to see some movie called The Lives of Others snatching it up instead. Then the movie saw a stateside release a few months later, and people realized that, wow, it really is better!

So itís impossible to say, especially without much in the way of a critical consensus for any movie on this list other than Biutiful. Iím gonna hazard a guess and say that Incendies will jump out and surprise everyone. Weíll see.


Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
The Kingís Speech
True Grit

NOTABLE OMISSIONS: This is where I start to get mad about Tron Legacy not really being nominated for anything. Regardless of what you thought of the story and script, itís hard to deny that the movie looked and sounded pretty freakiní awesome.

SHOULD WIN: Alice in Wonderland is the one that probably jumps out at most people, though itís gotten to the point where I pretty much hate everything Tim Burton does, and I stand by the ďmore is not betterĒ philosophy. Inception was one of the yearís most distinct-looking films, using color schemes to contrast parallel dream worlds and occasionally breaking the rules of physics to make otherwise normal-looking sets look just out of the ordinary. Itís a movie that had what Alice lacked: subtlety.

WILL WIN: Between this category and Costume Design, Iím guessing Alice in Wonderland will take one and True Grit will take the other. And Iíd say Alice in Wonderland nabs this one.


Black Swan
The Kingís Speech
The Social Network
True Grit

NOTABLE OMISSIONS: I wouldnít blame anyone for absolutely hating everything else about it, but the one thing that we can all agree on about Enter the Void was that its camerawork was the biggest technical marvel since Children of Men. Its snub here is a travesty.

SHOULD WIN: As beautiful a job as Wally Pfister did bringing Inceptionís unique imagery to life, Iím ultimately going to side with Matthew Libatique and his incredible Steadicam work on Black Swan, an important factor in conveying the intensity of its otherwise harmless-looking ballet scenes and Natalie Portmanís level of commitment to her role.

WILL WIN: And I see Black Swan winning, too. But donít be surprised if the voters lean in Inceptionís favor.


Alice in Wonderland
I Am Love
The Kingís Speech
The Tempest
True Grit

NOTABLE OMISSIONS: Centurion pops into my head. Also, Tron Legacy.

SHOULD WIN: Again, most would likely go with Alice in Wonderland, but Iím sick of Tim Burtonís overachieving production design. Iíd probably vote for True Grit, which employs genre tropes in visually arresting ways.

WILL WIN: Again, between this and Art Direction, I suspect Alice in Wonderland will take one and True Grit will get the other. My guess goes to True Grit winning this one.


Black Swan
The Fighter
The Kingís Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network

NOTABLE OMISSIONS: In what sick, twisted universe was The Kingís Speech a bigger triumph of editing than Inception? To take an idea like Inceptionís and simply make it watchable, delicately juggling between several different dream worlds in such a way that viewers can make the most of what should be a baffling concept, is a remarkable achievement. There was a bit of an uproar over this omission and itís well-deserved. Oh, and while I hated the movie itself, the Bourne-esque action sequences in Salt were masterfully executed.

SHOULD WIN: The Social Network should win for the Facemash sequence alone.

WILL WIN: And it will. The Social Network all the way.


Barneyís Version
The Way Back
The Wolfman

NOTABLE OMISSIONS: I hate to keep bringing up this movie, but turning Angelina Jolie into a man at the end of Salt was pretty damn cool. Some Splice love wouldnít hurt, either.

SHOULD WIN: I havenít seen the first two, but thereís no way whatever their makeup artists pulled off was as cool as Rick Bakerís work in The Wolfman.

WILL WIN: Baker has deservedly won six Oscars in his lifetime. The Wolfman will earn him his seventh.


127 Hours
How to Train Your Dragon
The Kingís Speech
The Social Network

NOTABLE OMISSIONS: Where the fuck is Daft Punk?

SHOULD WIN: As cool as it would be to see Trent Reznor win an Oscar (so he can stop pretending to be proud of his Golden Globe), Hans Zimmer churned out the yearís most iconic score in Inception. It would be a crime to give it to anyone else.

WILL WIN: And Iím betting Inception will win him his first Academy Award since his work on The Lion King. Given how much the guy works, he certainly deserves it.


ďComing HomeĒ Ė Country Strong
ďIf I RiseĒ Ė 127 Hours
ďI See the LightĒ Ė Tangled
ďWe Belong TogetherĒ Ė Toy Story 3

NOTABLE OMISSIONS: I canít think of anything.

SHOULD WIN: I havenít seen Country Strong or Tangled and I donít remember the songs from the other two. Iíd sure like to see 127 Hours walk away with something come Oscar night, though, so I guess Iíll go with that.

WILL WIN: Iím hearing ĒComing HomeĒ from Country Strong is the best contender, and the Academy has famously good taste in this category, so there you go.


Toy Story 3
Tron Legacy
True Grit

NOTABLE OMISSIONS: Meh. I generally put sound design out of my mind when I watch movies, so I donít have a strong opinion on this one.

SHOULD WIN: Just so weíre clear, sound editing is the art of actually creating and recording the sound effects used in movies. And Tron Legacyís digital world relies heavily on otherworldly audiovisual design, so thatís my vote.

WILL WIN: Animated movies, especially Pixar films, tend to have a good shot at winning this one. So, Toy Story 3.


The Kingís Speech
The Social Network
True Grit



WILL WIN: Inception.


Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Iron Man 2


SHOULD WIN: Itís not a movie thatís as heavily reliant on digital effects work as a few of the others, but Inception was still one of the yearís most technically impressive and visually striking films.

WILL WIN: I see Inception winning, but Alice in Wonderland could pull a surprise victory if it loses in Makeup and Costume Design.


Exit Through the Gift Shop
Inside Job
Waste Land

NOTABLE OMISSIONS: Waiting for Superman is the obvious one. Iím not exactly a documentary aficionado so there are probably far more that deserve mentions, but thatís the one that stands out for me as an obvious omission.

SHOULD WIN: Iíve only seen two of these. Exit Through the Gift Shop was quite good, but Restrepo was incredible. I canít imagine that any of the other three are more fascinating.

WILL WIN: The only thing going against Restrepo is its minimalist approach to documentation. Otherwise, it will almost assuredly win.


Killing in the Name
Poster Girl
Strangers No More
Sun Come Up
The Warriors of Quigang

NOTABLE OMISSIONS: Gee, there are so many that I donít want to leave anything out.

SHOULD WIN: This is one of the categories everyoneís always clueless about. Killing in the Name is titled after a Rage Against the Machine song, so I guess Iím voting for that one.

WILL WIN: The Warriors of Quigang sounds like itís about warriors, which is pretty cool.


Day & Night
The Gruffalo
Letís Pollute
The Lost Thing
Madagascar, a Journey Diary


SHOULD WIN: Oh hey, I actually remember Day & Night from Toy Story 3! Not as laugh-out-loud as Pixarís shorts often are, but itís also got a ridiculously clever idea behind it.

WILL WIN: Sure, why not? Day & Night.


The Confession
The Crush
God of Love
Na Wewe
Wish 143


SHOULD WIN: Na Wewe has a funny name.

WILL WIN: Wish 143. Total guess.

MastersUser: Masters
Title: Re: Oscar predictions.
Posted: January 26, 2011 (09:46 PM)

SuskieUser: Suskie
Title: Re: Oscar predictions.
Posted: January 26, 2011 (09:53 PM)
"Write for yourself," right?

asherdeusUser: asherdeus
Title: Re: Oscar predictions.
Posted: January 26, 2011 (11:11 PM)
Don't have much to add, as I didn't see many of these movies (of the best picture noms, I only saw four), but this is an impressive and informative wrap up. Thanks man!

honestgamerUser: honestgamer
Title: Re: Oscar predictions.
Posted: January 27, 2011 (12:13 AM)
Great job on this, Mike!

SuskieUser: Suskie
Title: Re: Oscar predictions.
Posted: January 27, 2011 (01:08 AM)
Thanks! Good luck reading all of it.

MastersUser: Masters
Title: Re: Oscar predictions.
Posted: January 27, 2011 (04:29 AM)
Haha, I did make it all the way through. I was just stunned at how thorough you were. The "nice job" type blandishments hardly qualify.

Anyway, as usual, I've seen none of the best picture nominees. =\

qxzUser: qxz
Title: Re: Oscar predictions.
Posted: January 27, 2011 (06:23 AM)
Wow! Quite a thorough list you have there, Suskie.

What I don't comprehend is why the list of Best Picture nominees, which was originally a modest five entries, was expanded to ten. I just think it's overkill.

LerouxUser: Leroux
Title: Re: Oscar predictions.
Posted: January 27, 2011 (07:05 AM)

Check out Gasland. I wouldn't bet against that one.

darketernalUser: darketernal
Title: Re: Oscar predictions.
Posted: January 27, 2011 (09:32 AM)
Is there a douchy, pretentious move in the run, that deals with the "important" questions, such as disease, war, poverty, or gay rights?

If so, that movie will win, no matter how atrociously bad it really is.

joseph_valenciaUser: joseph_valencia
Title: Re: Oscar predictions.
Posted: January 27, 2011 (11:48 AM)
The expanded Best Picture lists seems to be a throwback to the old-school Academy Award ceremonies. (When "Gone with the Wind" won in 1939, it was up against nine other movies too.) They've mainly adopted it to ensure that commercial movies, such as "Inception" and "Toy Story 3," make onto the list.

I like that the new setup enables animated movies to make it onto the nominee list, even if they don't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning.

BenUser: Ben
Title: Re: Oscar predictions.
Posted: January 27, 2011 (01:30 PM)
Yeah, I'm pretty sure it was expanded in an attempt to get more people to watch the Oscars. The Dark Knight missing out in 2008 was a bummer for a lot of people.

BenUser: Ben
Title: Re: Oscar predictions.
Posted: January 27, 2011 (01:51 PM)
Selected Predictions:

Best Film - The Social Network
Best Director - David Fincher (The Social Network)
Best Leading Actor - Colin Firth
Best Leading Actress - Annette Bening
Best Supporting Actor - John Hawkes
Best Supporting Actress - Hailee Steinfeld
Best Adapted Screenplay - The Social Network
Best Original Screenplay - The King's Speech
Best Animated Film - Toy Story 3
Best Cinematography - Black Swan
Best Original Score - The Social Network


* I reckon The Social Network will edge out The King's Speech for two reasons. One, the subject matter is more relevant in today's world (even though the film is barely about social networking). Two, it's the first time in a while where the Academy can give the top prize to a film that's not only held in high regard but also a commercial hit and popular among the masses.

* For some reason, the Academy hasn't recognised Bale before this year, which is why I've got a feeling there'll be an upset. Renner and Ruffalo won't win (though I'm extremely pleased that they're both nominated), so it's between Hawkes and Rush, and I went for the former. Timberlake didn't deserve to get nominated ahead of all of the five eventual nominees, so he certainly wasn't robbed in the slightest. Garfield, there's definitely a case for - between him and Renner for that fifth slot in my books.

* I want How to Train Your Dragon to win the animated film award, but everyone in the whole wide world knows Toy Story 3 is going to win. Dragon fully deserves the original score nomination, though. That's probably the one aspect people seem to agree it tops Toy Story 3 in. The final twenty minutes - the soundtrack was perfectly crafted.

* Inception should've been nominated for editing. When you're watching scenes from five different worlds spliced together and it comes across coherent and super compelling, surely it's got to at least beat out The King's Speech. I think Inception deserved to get the nod for screenplay. I know some people think that's one of the weakest parts of the film, but on the surface of it, Inception should have no reason to make sense whatsoever. The fact that Nolan managed to make everything make sense - the dream states, the rules, and so forth - is a particularly fine achievement despite periods of heavy exposition. Not only that, but the scenes between Cobb and Mal were expertly written.

joseph_valenciaUser: joseph_valencia
Title: Re: Oscar predictions.
Posted: January 27, 2011 (03:20 PM)
Actually, "The Social Network" is very much about social networking. The network of relationships and connections Mark Zuckerberg makes throughout the movie are core to the story. They are both the key to his character's rise and his downfall.

I think Best Editing is going to "127 Hours" or "The Social Network." Like "Inception," the editing in "Social Network" allows a really complex story to flow coherently. On the other hand, I've heard a lot of talk about the decapitation scene in "127 Hours," the impact of which seems to owe a lot to editing.

BenUser: Ben
Title: Re: Oscar predictions.
Posted: January 27, 2011 (03:27 PM)
Joseph: I completely agree. By "social networking", I was referring to online social networking (i.e. Facebook). And the editing in that film is top-notch - the disjointed timeline ended up being coherent and extremely effective at the same time. I've not seen 127 Hours (I might do tomorrow), but if it does win Editing, I hope it's not because of that one scene. However, it does deserve credit if the film remains entertaining enough throughout the entire runtime, given that most of it takes place in one location. Though, that's probably down to James Franco for being able to carry a film like that.

SuskieUser: Suskie
Title: Re: Oscar predictions.
Posted: January 27, 2011 (03:30 PM)
The arm-cutting scene in 127 Hours is just really raw, especially after so much tension and buildup. (He contemplates the act several times throughout the movie and at one points stabs himself as a test run.) Frankly, one of the biggest contributing factors in that scene is the score -- though I still don't think Rahman will win for that, especially since he just won for another Boyle movie two years ago.

On the subject of The Social Network: Not only is it very much about social networking, but but it also answers the question of why the internet and social networking are such a huge part of young people's lives today. It's been said that the movie "defines a generation," and I really don't think that's an exaggeration. I mean, the movie's not an accurate depiction of Facebook's creation by any means; its purpose was to delve into the mindset of its creation.

Edit: Oh, and about Jeremy Renner. Like I said, I was more impressed with the performance than I was with the role, as I feel the script didn't give him enough to do. He seemed like a ticking time bomb of a character an I kept waiting for his "big scene," but he stayed out of the spotlight. You're right in saying that Garfield is more worthy of a nomination than Timberlake, but I was very impressed with both, more so than I was with Renner.

BenUser: Ben
Title: Re: Oscar predictions.
Posted: January 31, 2011 (02:16 PM)
I just saw 127 Hours. The film was alright, but I was far more impressed with James Franco. I'm now of the belief that he should win the Oscar instead of Colin Firth.

Regarding The Social Network "defining a generation", I guess this is us having differing views, but I saw that film as more of a character study of Jesse Eisenberg's character, as well as an insight into the relationship he had with Andrew Garfield's character. These two factors were why I enjoyed The Social Network a lot. The thought about it being about online social networking hardly crossed my mind, to be honest, and I've seen the film twice now.

goatx3User: goatx3
Title: Re: Oscar predictions.
Posted: February 09, 2011 (09:34 AM)
notable omissions for original song should include the entire TRON Legacy soundtrack. i mean, really... come on, oscar people.

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