Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Final May Predictions!!!

So, I took way too long with these, but everytime I thought I had it figured out there would be a trailer released or a change in the schedule (pushing back a year for some films) and then there was Cannes and so I cheated and waited and changed and altered and then threw logic to the wind and picked some names out of a hat and then I saw that somehow I gained followers (two more, YAY) and figured I better post something before they think following me was a mistake!

So, here they are.

By the way, as with last year at this time...there are no predictions for categories like Original Song or Foreign Film...it's just too early for that (although I'm certain Amour and Rust and Bone will be up for Foreign Film).


Best Picture:

1.       Les Miserables

2.       Argo

3.       Lincoln

4.       Anna Karenina

5.       Hyde Park on Hudson
~

6.       Life of Pi

7.       The Dark Knight Rises

8.       The Master

9.       Django Unchained

10.   Amour
~

11.   Brave

12.   The Great Gatsby

13.   Beasts of the Southern Wild

14.   Rust and Bone

15.   The Surrogate



It hurt, but I took my one real ballsy prediction out of my lineup; Prometheus.  I really went apeshit when I saw that initial trailer and decided that Ridley Scott was coming to the podium.  Yeah, I was stupid.  It’s not going to happen. 



I still think that Les Miserables is the safest bet, followed by Lincoln.  They just scream OSCAR.  Argo has obviously risen in the ranks thanks to the choice trailer.  Anna could stumble and fall and yet, I’m thinking that the glossy loveliness of it all is going to inch it into the winners bracket.  Hyde Park has always been that film I had more faith in than most.  The film looks so lightweight and TV movie-like, which is a real bonus when predicting Oscar.  I mean, they LOVE that stuff.  I have a feeling that they are going to eat that shit alive.  Look at The King’s Speech.  It racked in four Oscar WINS.  I could see Hyde Park pulling in a few big noms and maybe even picking one or two of them up.



After that, there are a slew of films that could make it, some with a higher chance (on paper) than others.  Beasts of the Southern Wild was one I wanted to bump higher, but I have a feeling that it is going to make a dent in other categories first.  Director and Actress seem more likely, maybe even Screenplay.  They tend to embrace more artistic ventures over Best Picture, which is usually reserved for the safer bets.



The Dark Knight Rises will be the one to watch out for.  It is probably bound to make the top ten.



The Great Gatsby is a giant questionmark.  I mean, it could very well be this lavish masterpiece that lands in all the right categories, or it could be a total disaster.  I want it to be awesome, but I just have this feeling that the 3D angle was a poor one to use.  The nostalgic factor that could be used to get this immediate attention will be lacking.  Rust and Bone, I know, is a risky prediction.  I mean, I’m not predicting it, but I do have it as a possibility.  The trailer looks so impressive, and Cotillard will be everywhere this year.  Honestly, foreign films HAVE made it into Best Picture before, and A Prophet still has rabid fans, so maybe Rust and Bone, with stellar reviews, could forge ahead for a coveted Best Picture spot.



Finally, I’ve bumped Amour into my top ten thanks to the HEAPS of praise it received at Cannes.  It probably won’t happen, but it is certainly a possibility, and Haneke is very respected and a veteran of sorts, so the Academy may finally want to embrace him after all these years.



Best Director:

1.       Tom Hooper/Les Miserables

2.       Ben Affleck/Argo

3.       Steven Spielberg/Lincoln

4.       Joe Wright/Anna Karenina

5.       Michael Haneke/Amour

~

6.       Behn Zeitlin/Beasts of the Southern Wild

7.       Quentin Tarantino/Django Unchained

8.       Ang Lee/Life of Pi

9.       Christopher Nolan/The Dark Knight Rises

10.   Paul Thomas Anderson/The Master

~

11.   Baz Luhrmann/The Great Gatsby

12.   Ridley Scott/Prometheus

13.   Roger Michell/Hyde Park on Hudson

14.   Kathryn Bigelow/Zero Dark Thirty

15.   Andrew Dominik/Killing Them Softly



Ok, so a bit of a change up from my predictions last month.  In thinking this over and trying to envision the Academy and their voting system, I’m letting Nolan and Scott slide from my top five.  The constant Nolan snubs are telling I guess.  The Academy just doesn’t like him.  That said, I think he has a great shot at securing a nomination is his closing chapter gets critical acclaim.  If he lands in with DGA once again, he’s got to make it; right?



So, let’s get back with the actual predictions here.  I’m still thinking that Tom Hooper is the likeliest shot at a nomination here; not necessarily a win.  I can’t see him winning a second so soon, but the source material and his visual approach is tailor made for another nomination; a deserved one this time.  Les Miserables is set to be an awards juggernaut, so I see it landing all over the place.  This totally fits in with Oscar’s wheelhouse, and it already seems evident that this is going to be the year of the literary epic.  With that in mind, I’m thinking that Joe Wright will get a ‘welcome to the club’ nomination for toning down his grandioseness and giving a more intimate yet obviously epic costume drama.  Spielberg is locked up for another ‘filler’ nom, thanks to DDL and the biopic nature of the film.  So that leaves two that I’m thinking are going to get their due.  Early word on Gravity is REALLY good, and Cuaron is such a visual director that this really could be his ticket to the club BUT recent word is that the film is being pushed to NEXT year, so I bumped up Zeitlin.  Arthouse, sure, but the film totally looks like the type that is going to grab a few prestigious nominations.  LOL, but then I bumped him back down for Haneke.  Wishful thinking, I’m sure, but I wish it to happen SO MUCH.  The real ‘safe bet’ here is Affleck though.  This is such a Hollywood story.  He’s already an Oscar winner, in writing, and so they’ll love to embrace him elsewhere.  He’s a golden child, someone they’ve seen grow up.  They’ll love to tell him that he’s really good at what he does.  The kicker is that he actually can direct the hell out of a movie.  Argo looks polished and just pitch perfect for AMPAS.


Signed, sealed, delivered.



Adapted Screenplay:

1.       Lincoln

2.       Argo

3.       Life of Pi

4.       Anna Karenina

5.       The Silver Linings Playbook
~

6.       The Great Gatsby

7.       Les Miserables

8.       Killing Them Softly

9.       Lawless

10.   On the Road
~

11.   Great Expectations

12.   The Gangster Squad

13.   The Hobbit

14.   Quartet

15.   Cosmopolis



Ok, so ‘Lincoln’ and ‘Argo’ are, for me, pretty safe bets.  ‘Lincoln’ is adapted from a very critically acclaimed novel, and it’s being helmed by Spielberg, so it is bound to gain momentous traction.  ‘Argo’ looks like a blast, and judging from the trailer it is going to be sharp and grounded and witty.


After that, I’m a little hazy.



Anna Karenina should be a safe bet, but it could also be a not so safe bet.  It is such a vast novel, and a literary classic, so it could easily fall victim to high expectations and low payoff.  That said, Wright is in his wheelhouse, and he is such a tremendous talent, so I have faith that this will be his big ticket.  I know that I should be predicting Les Miserables, especially since I consider it ‘the one to beat’ at this stage in the game, but it is a musical and unless they really shift things around and play with it, I can’t see them nominating a carbon copy (they better keep this in tact). 



You don’t need a screenplay nod to win Best Picture!



The Silver Linings Playbook just seems like a screenplay nominee to me.  I don’t have a lot of faith in the film.  It’s not like The Fighter sized recognition is the norm of David O. Russell, so this could be more in line with his other, un-Oscary fare, but it seems like the type of film that picks up one or two nominations; and I’m thinking that Screenplay and a possible acting nom are in order.  And that leaves me Life of Pi.  I have no idea what is going to happen with this film, but if Ang pulls this off then it could very well be this years ‘Hugo’.





Original Screenplay:

1.       The Master

2.       Django Unchained

3.       Hyde Park on Hudson

4.       Amour

5.       Moonrise Kingdom

~

6.       Beasts of the Southern Wild

7.       Mud

8.       Rust and Bone

9.       The Surrogate

10.   Brave

~

11.   Zero Dark Thirty

12.   Imogene

13.   Lowlife

14.   Seven Psychopaths

15.   To Rome With Love



PT Anderson and Quinton Tarantino are locks here.  I mean, they always land in these categories, so why should this year be any different.  Even if neither of their films garner much attention elsewhere, there is no way they will miss out here.  After that, I’m thinking that the borderline Lifetime quality of ‘Hyde Park on Hudson’ will garner it a ‘King’s Speech’ type nomination here, and then you have the independent love that is bound to shine on ‘The Surrogate’, which has already picked up praise and lots of hype.  But there are a lot of films that shined at Cannes that have a decent shot here, and so I shied away from ‘The Surrogate’ and predicted Amour and Moonrise Kingdom.  Moonrise in particular I feel strongly has a singular shot here and nowhere else, so it actually could be a stronger candidate because of that fact, or it could mean that the film isn’t going to land anywhere.



I was planning on going out on a limb to predict ‘Mud’.  After ‘Take Shelter’ last year and the surprise amount of critical acclaim it garnered, maybe ‘Mud’ will be a bigger ticket and the premise does sound promising.  But the sleepy response it got at Cannes has me questioning that on all levels.  ‘Rust and Bone’ also looks FANTASTIC and it isn’t unknown to have a foreign film show up here. 



Lead Actor:

1.       Hugh Jackman/Les Miserables

2.       Bill Murray/Hyde Park on Hudson

3.       Joaquin Phoenix/The Master

4.       John Hawkes/The Surrogate

5.       Daniel Day-Lewis/Lincoln

~

6.       Philip Seymour Hoffman/The Master

7.       Joel Edgerton/Zero Dark Thirty

8.       Clint Eastwood/Trouble the Curve

9.       Brad Pitt/Killing Them Softly

10.   Terrence Stamp/A Song for Marion

~

11.   Leonardo DiCaprio/The Great Gatsby

12.   Sam Riley/On the Road

13.   Anthony Hopkins/Hemingway and Fuentes

14.   Bradley Cooper/The Silver Linings Playbook

15.   Simon Pegg/A Fantastic Fear of Everything


I’m still very confident (maybe overly so) with Les Miserables, and so Jackman is going to remain at the top of my predictions.  It just seems like the PERFECT role for him to finally be embraced by the Academy.  I think he’s a shoe-in at this point.  Murray also looks primed to WIN the golden bastard if his film is accepted with open arms, which I think it will.  The trailer looks right up Oscar’s ally, perfectly light and cheery and yet emotionally weighty when needed.  I mean, all doubters need look no further than 2010 to see how much the Academy EATS UP THESE LIGHTWEIGHT PRESTIGE FILMS.



Hawkes is a very good possibility.  He’s playing a paraplegic trying to lose his virginity.  He’s gotten raves already and he’s had a great run since his surprise Oscar nomination in 2010.  He’s fresh on their minds, and this role is baity as hell.



Then there are the supposed heavy hitters; Daniel Day-Lewis and Philip Seymour Hoffman.  DDL is playing Lincoln, so on name and character alone, he’s probably as locked for a nomination as Streep is every time she farts.  That being said, I feel he has NO SHOT at a win, so I think that his nomination COULD be in question if the film isn’t embraced in a big way.  Spielberg isn’t always an Oscar darling, and big prestige biopics aren’t always embraced either (just look at J. Edgar) but there is a pretty big chance that this is a no-brainer.  PSH is a bigger questionmark, mainly because of Joaquin Phoenix.  Only one of them can be in contention.  The Academy does not like to double up in the Lead categories, and so no matter the fact that they are both probably LEAD, only one of them is getting in here.  The other will either be forgotten entirely or get delegated to Supporting.  After seeing the teaser clip (see it here) and reading that Hoffman is second fiddle to Phoenix’s storyline, I’m leaning towards a Phoenix nomination.  It would be welcomed and joyous considering that he is a great actor who rarely gets to share his gifts in the right light.



After that, I’m swinging in all directions.  Eastwood could happen (hell, he could win) based on overall adoration alone.  He’s old and he hasn’t won an acting Oscar and some people think he’s a good actor.  Terrence Stamp could also ride that sentiment, but really; only one, if any, is getting the token Peter O’Toole type nomination.  Some are really banking on Bradley Cooper.  I think that’s stupid.  I don’t think he’ll EVER come close to an Oscar, but then again; stranger things have happened.



Lead Actress:

1.       Marion Cotillard/Low Life

2.       Helen Hunt/The Surrogate

3.       Keira Knightley/Anna Karenina

4.       Laura Linney/Hyde Park on Hudson

5.       Scarlett Johansson/Under the Skin

~

6.       Marion Cotillard/Rust & Bone

7.       Quvenzhane Wallis/Beasts of the Southern Wild

8.       Mary Elizabeth Winstead/Smashed

9.       Maggie Smith/Quartet

10.   Michelle Williams/Take this Waltz

~

11.   Carey Mulligan/The Great Gatsby

12.   Jennifer Lawrence/The Silver Linings Playbook

13.   Kristen Wiig/Imogene

14.   Penelope Cruz/Twice Born

15.   Barbra Streisand/The Guilt Trip



I should probably retire Johansson for Wallis, but I can’t.  I really want this to happen to the point where I’m being delusional in my expectations.  She plays a sexy alien who eats men, but I just have so much faith in the Grazer/Johansson duet that I’m shucking rationale to the side and embracing the absurdity of this actually happening. 



That said, Wallis is also VERY young and despite rave reviews I just think that it will stand in the way of her actually getting nominated.



Knightley, Hunt and Cotillard still stand as the three I think have this locked up.  Sure, nothing is set in stone and all three could miss, but I think that the odds are in their favor.  Knightley is in a literary marvel of sorts and is reteaming with Joe Wright, who directed her to her two finest performances to date and also got her nominated in 2005.  Hunt has the reviews to back her up and the ‘comeback’ narrative going for her.  Then you have Cotillard, who has raves for her work in Rust and Bone, but Low Life is an English language film and has her playing deglam and prostituting herself, so I’m thinking that is her safest bet at a nom.  Linney looks very supporting from the trailer, but she is also bound to get good ink (already has at this point) and the film looks up Oscars ally, so I’m thinking she gets in and loses.



But who wins?  I’m with most of my friends who think that NONE of the likely contenders really looks like winners.  Not even Wallis or Smith or Winstead or Mulligan or Lawrence…I mean; none look like real ‘winners’, and I have a hard time thinking that Cotillard or Hunt gets a second (despite the undeniable amazingness that is Cotillard’s career right now).



I’m thinking Knightley has the best shot at this point.



Supporting Actor:

1.       Russell Crowe/Les Miserables

2.       Leonardo DiCaprio/Django Unchained

3.       John Goodman/Argo

4.       David Strathairn/Lincoln

5.       James Gandolfini/Killing Them Softly

~

6.       Philip Seymour Hoffman/The Master

7.       Joel Edgerton/The Great Gatsby

8.       John Cusack/The Paperboy

9.       Sacha Baron Cohen/Les Miserables

10.   Guy Pearce/Lawless

~

11.   Sean Penn/The Gangster Squad

12.   Tom Courtenay/Quartet

13.   Samuel L. Jackson/Django Unchained

14.   Tom Cruise/Rock of Ages

15.   Alan Arkin/Argo



Crowe and DiCaprio.  That is really all I have to say, and at the end of the day I strongly believe it will come down to those two for the actual Oscar.  I think that DiCaprio may have the edge, since his narrative will be strong (Oscar loser, overdue, playing against type, Tarantino) but Crowe will also be barking at the door.  He has a stronger possibility of starring in the Best Picture frontrunner, and he is co-lead.  That being said, I think Les Miserables is destined to win another acting Oscar, and I’m not sure if it is going to rack up two.



So DiCaprio it is, at the moment.



Argo looks great, obviously, and the supporting cast looks sublime, with Goodman stealing the whole trailer, so I’m thinking this is going to be his ticket to his first Oscar nomination (how in the hell!) and Edgerton has a really baity role in a film that is bound to be divisive yet attention grabbing, but all the current praise for Gandolfini has me blinded to logic and I’m forced to place him in the top five because I wish it so hard to be so that maybe, just maybe it will happen.



Then I’m at a loss.  I think that Strathairn has a real shot, considering the role and then again, Hoffman is probably going to get demoted here and he is bound to have a seriously baity role and performance.  For now, I’m guessing that Hoffman’s hamming gets a pass and Strathairn gets his second nomination, but I’m wishy-washy about all that.



Oh, and have I mentioned yet that I really want Gandolfini to get a nomination!



Supporting Actress:

1.       Anne Hathaway/Les Miserables

2.       Olivia Williams/Hyde Park on Hudson

3.       Jennifer Lawrence/The Silver Linings Playbook

4.       Samantha Barks/Les Miserables

5.       Isla Fisher/The Great Gatsby

~

6.       Annette Bening/Imogene

7.       Amy Adams/The Master

8.       Carey Mulligan/The Great Gatsby

9.       Alicia Vikander/Anna Karenina

10.   Sally Field/Lincoln

~

11.   Olivia Coleman/Hyde Park on Hudson

12.   Nicole Kidman/The Paperboy

13.   Kristen Scott Thomas/Only God Forbids

14.   Kerry Washington/Django Unchained

15.   Pauline Collins/Quartet



Anne Hathaway is bound to win the Oscar this year.  The timing, the film, the character; everything is in the right place.  It’s a standout role, deglam, perfect showcase for her acting chops and singing ability, memorable, heartbreaking, soulful; I mean…seriously.


She’s got this!



Then, let’s throw some names at the wall. 



Olivia Williams (as well as Olivia Coleman) look great in the trailer for Hyde Park on Hudson.  I’m thinking that the goodwill for Williams from 2010 wins out and she gets the nomination.  Lawrence is the new IT GIRL and the role is said to be baity.  I don’t have a lot of faith in the film, but Lawrence is on the tip of everyone’s tongue right now.  I still think that Barks has a great shot (besides, we need a double nom, right) and Fisher has the best role in the film, so if she delivers she’ll get a lot of respect and attention.



After that, there are a slew of names that deserve to be noted in the top five.  Bening going comedic is always a showstopper and Adams is said to have some ‘fierce’ scenes in The Master.  Besides, the Academy LOVES her.  Field is primed for a comeback, if the film gives her much to work with, and Kidman looks all sorts of showy and scene stealy in The Paperboy (although, in my opinion it looks like ‘in a bad way’ kind of scenario).  Mulligan could also easily get demoted if she gets the right kind of ink and it looks like she could get a nomination, since it really isn’t her story as much as she is the central female role.


Still, I’m liking the way this prediction looks at the moment.





Film Editing:

1.       Les Miserables

2.       Django Unchained

3.       The Dark Knight Rises

4.       Argo

5.       Zero Dark Thirty

~

6.       Lincoln

7.       The Master

8.       Killing Them Softly

9.       Prometheus

10.   Rust and Bone

~

11.   Anna Karenina

12.   Only God Forbids

13.   The Great Gatsby

14.   The Hobbit

15.   Lawless



We all know that this usually swells around the biggest Best Picture hopefuls, with the occasional spot for random flashiness.  Les Miserables seems like the best bet here.  I mean, it is going to be a technical showpiece, I’m sure, and so it’ll most likely land on a slew of categories. 



After that, I’m not so sure.  I mean, there are certain films that could easily make the tail end of the Best Picture ballot that I think have a real shot here.  The Dark Knight Rises managed a nom back in 2007 and Nolan’s directorial style uses sharp edits in a way that kind of demand attention.  I think it’ll land here as well, even if it misses in Best Picture yet again.  Django Unchained doesn’t seem like a film that is going to WIN Best Picture, but Tarantino’s style is so engrossing that I could see him garnering enough #1’s to get his film on the final ‘elongated’ ballot.  Besides, his films are flashy.  Argo looks like a lot of fun, and I have a lot of expectations for this film (Picture, Director, Screenplay, Sup. Actor) so I think it’ll follow suit here as well.



So, I guess my one random is Zero Dark Thirty.  The editing in The Hurt Locker was so crucial (such a deserved win) and so I’m thinking that this film, even if it doesn’t get sucked into Best Picture, will sneak into a few crucial categories; this being one of them.



But really, there are so many options at this point.  Prometheus could still happen.  It may be sci-fi, but it’s Scott and a respected series so it could shine in all the right places, and we all know that these films really rely on editing to make the desired impact.  If Scott can balance the horror and the action just right, he could have a home run on his hands. 



Cinematography:

1.       Les Miserables

2.       The Master

3.       Killing Them Softly

4.       The Great Gatsby

5.       The Dark Knight Rises

~

6.       Django Unchained

7.       Anna Karenina

8.       Beasts of the Southern Wild

9.       To the Wonder

10.   Great Expectations

~

11.   Cloud Atlas

12.   Zero Dark Thirty

13.   The Hobbit

14.   Cosmopolis

15.   Prometheus



They like pretty and big and awe inspiring and they usually award the dullest of the five, but whatever.  Les Miserables is surely going to contend here.  The clip we got from The Master looks impressive to say the least, so I think it manages to pull one out here as well.  Killing them Softly may have the right amount of grit and darkness to squeeze out a nomination here too.  The more I hear about the project the more I’m tempted to predict it in certain categories.  Dominik is a visual director, so he’ll need a visual canvas; right?



I had Django Unchained in my top five for a minute, based on those stills, but then I saw the trailer for The Great Gatsby and, well, that looks effing beautiful!



After the top five, I’m a little at a loss here.  I’m not sure who I think has the best shot out a handful of films with about the same amount of visual prospects.  From what I’ve seen (trailers, clips, whatever) Beasts of the Southern Wild looks fantastic and visually appealing, but also very gritty and indie, so it could get passed over for something glossier.  To the Wonder is still a questionmark as to whether it will even be released, but if it is I think it stands a great chance of getting in.  Malick films are always visually intriguing above all else.



And what the hell to think of Cloud Atlas?



AND THEN…A LOT OF GUESSWORK :-D



Art Direction:

1.       The Great Gatsby

2.       Les Miserables

3.       Great Expectations

4.       Dark Shadows

5.       Django Unchained

~

6.       Anna Karenina

7.       Snow White and the Huntsman

8.       Lincoln

9.       Argo

10.   Cloud Atlas

~

11.   The Master

12.   Skyfall

13.   Prometheus

14.   The Gangster Squad

15.   Moonrise Kingdom



Costume Design:

1.       Les Miserables

2.       The Great Gatsby

3.       Mirror Mirror

4.       Anna Karenina

5.       Django Unchained

~

6.       Great Expectations

7.       Dark Shadows

8.       Snow White and the Huntsman

9.       Argo

10.   Low Life

~

11.   The Gangster Squad

12.   Lincoln

13.   Stoker

14.   The Hunger Games

15.   Rock of Ages



Makeup:

1.       Les Miserables

2.       Lincoln

3.       Looper
~

4.       The Hobbit

5.       The Dark Knight Rises

6.       Great Expectations
~

7.       Men in Black III

8.       The Amazing Spider-Man

9.       Snow White and the Huntsman



Visual Effects:

1.       The Life of Pi

2.       Prometheus

3.       The Dark Knight Rises

4.       The Hobbit

5.       Snow White and the Huntsman

~

6.       Skyfall

7.       The Amazing Spider-Man

8.       The Avengers

9.       Dark Shadows

10.   The Great Gatsby

~

11.   Total Recall

12.   Stoker

13.   The Hunger Games

14.   Men in Black III

15.   Battleship



Sound Editing:

1.       Prometheus

2.       The Dark Knight Rises

3.       The Hobbit

4.       Looper

5.       Zero Dark Thirty

~

6.       Brave

7.       Les Miserables

8.       The Great Gatsby

9.       Django Unchained

10.   Snow White and the Huntsman

~

11.   The Amazing Spider-Man

12.   The Avengers

13.   Argo

14.   Total Recall

15.   John Carter



Sound Mixing:

1.       Les Miserables

2.       Prometheus

3.       The Dark Knight Rises

4.       Brave

5.       Zero Dark Thirty

~

6.       The Hobbit

7.       Skyfall

8.       Life of Pi

9.       The Great Gatsby

10.   Django Unchained

~

11.   The Avengers

12.   Argo

13.   The Bourne Legacy

14.   Amazing Spider-Man

15.   Looper



Original Score:

1.       Life of Pi

2.       Lincoln

3.       Moonrise Kingdom

4.       Brave

5.       Anna Karenina

~

6.       Argo

7.       Gangster Squad

8.       Hyde Park on Hudson

9.       Skyfall

10.   The Master

~

11.   Snow White and the Huntsman

12.   Prometheus

13.   Rust and Bone

14.   The Hobbit

15.   The Great Gatsby




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