Thursday, January 26, 2012

2005 Fisti Update

I just finished posting my ballots for the 2005 Fisti Awards!  So, if you so desire, click on the link on the left (Fisti Awards of the Aughts) and scroll on down ;-)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

Final Oscar Predictions!!!

Best Picture

The Artist

The Descendants

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Help

Hugo

Midnight in Paris

Moneyball







I’m predicting seven nominees. I think that ‘The Artist’, ‘The Descendants’ and ‘Hugo’ have nothing to worry about. They are locked up for this category and are really the only three films in contention for the win, unless there is a dramatic surge in another direction with PGA and DGA. After that, you have two films that received more love than anticipated and became those soft, commercial hits no one really expected; namely, ‘The Help’ and ‘Midnight in Paris’. Then it gets a little tricky. ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ was almost non-existent during the critic’s awards and even with the start of the televised awards (SAG, BFCA) but once the embargo was lifted and the reviews started pouring in, the guilds suddenly began to rally behind it (it was nominated with all of them) so I see this sudden surge of support transferring into a Best Picture nomination. The biggest questionmark for me is ‘Moneyball’. I currently have it predicted, but my faith is wavering now that Pitt has been delegated to ‘dark horse’ instead of ‘front runner’. It received impressive reviews, and it has stayed in conversation longer than many thought, but has it run its course just shy of seeing the fruits of its labor?







And, for the hell of it, I'll name three films (to complete a list of ten) that I think have dark horse chances of sneaking into the Best Picture race. The full on support that ‘Drive’ has received all season is telling, and BAFTA recently embraced it in a HUGE way, so I really think that it could make a surprise dent with the Academy as well. ‘War Horse’ was a giant disappointment, but it’s also Spielberg, so it needs to be in conversation at this point; and ‘A Separation’ is just HUGE right now. I know that foreign films VERY RARELY make it into Oscar’s Best Picture lineup, but the love surrounding this film is surprising and possibly enough to carry it all the way.







Best Directing

Fincher/The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hazanavicius/The Artist

Payne/The Descendants

Winding Refn/Drive

Scorsese/Hugo







DGA threw a wrench in the mix by nominating the long absent Fincher into the race, and then BAFTA tossed yet another wrench by nominating Winding Refn, proving that he was not just a critical darling (he won so many of those awards), but a big contender. Logic would tell you that it’ll be one or the other, but with Payne, Scorsese and Hazanavicius locked up, and five directors fighting for those last two spots (Fincher, Winding Refn, Allen, Spielberg and Miller), I just have a hunch that the directors branch may actually vote for a film (or films) that was heavily directed. Fincher and Winding Refn direct the hell out of their films, in good ways. Spielberg’s film has been delivering poorly with the guilds, and Miller’s film is floundering, and having recently watched ‘Midnight in Paris’ I’m baffled that Allen is even in contention considering that his film is so light and airy and not really the kind of film that feels especially well formatted. That big questionmark is Malick, but his film has failed to make any impact whatsoever outside of cinematography, which it’s most likely going to lose come Oscar night anyway, so I find those convinced that he’ll show up on Oscar’s shortlist to be quite odd.





Best Actor in a Leading Role

Clooney/The Descendants

DuJardin/The Artist

Fassbender/Shame

Oldman/Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Pitt/Moneyball



Voting against Leo, considering the fact that he’s been nominated for all the major awards (BFCA, SAG, Globe) is rather silly, I know, but his film has been panned basically, and he’s the films ONLY shot for a nomination, really, so I think that the sudden surge of ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’ love may propel Oldman into his long overdue Oscar nomination.  Also, Fassbender’s year and the fact that he’s in constant conversation may also be enough to get him in as well.  Pitt, Clooney and DuJardin aren’t going anywhere, and one of them is going to win.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see Michael Shannon or even Demian Bichir popped up, considering the attention they’ve received; but I’m betting on this lineup for now.



Best Actress in a Leading Role

Close/Albert Nobbs

Davis/The Help

Mara/The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Streep/The Iron Lady

Williams/My Week with Marilyn



I may be foolish, but I cannot see a lineup of all previous nominees so I’m putting faith in Mara pulling through here, considering the love that her film is garnering with the guilds.  Close and Swinton were the two I was debating who she’d replace and ultimately I concluded that ‘respect/dueness/sentimentality/passion project’ would trump ‘critically lauded/indie arthouse/recent winner’…so Swinton is out.  Honestly, I could still see either Elizabeth Olsen (she was supposed to be such a contender this year) or Charlize Theron surprising here as well.



Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Branagh/My Week With Marilyn

Brooks/Drive

Nolte/Warrior

Plummer/Beginners

Stoll/Midnight in Paris



When a category has such a defined winner (in this case, Plummer), then they are rich for a surprise or two.  Considering ‘Moneyball’s waning passion I’m counting Hill out at the moment and expecting that the Best Picture lock ‘Midnight in Paris’ is going to pull in Corey Stoll, who has been absent from the big guns but has not been forgotten.  He was rightfully singled out thanks to his fantastic performance, and so I think he could rise in the end.  Branagh and Nolte are pretty much happening (Nolte is also perfection, so he better happen).  Brooks seemed like a sure thing a while back, but the SAG and BAFTA snubs hurt a little.  Still, when it comes to #1 placements, I see him garnering more than Hill.



Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Bejo/The Artist

Chastain/The Help

McTeer/Albert Nobbs

Mulligan/Shame

Spencer/The Help



I’m stubborn, I know that.  I refuse to accept that Carey Mulligan is getting snubbed, although I may prefer her get a snub than get nominated and lose to Octavia Spencer.  Anyways, I’m betting on the ‘Shame’ pair to get in together.  Bejo and Chastain and Spencer are locked up.  McTeer has landed in all the right spots, and her performance is being mentioned for more than sentiment; apparently she’s really great in the film.  Woodley has a shot here, as does McCarthy and even Redgrave.  I expect any one of them to pop in instead of Mulligan, but like I said; I’m stubborn!



Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

The Artist

Beginners

Midnight in Paris

A Separation

Young Adult



The writing branch can and will nominate an unexpected treat and I think that the surge of support for ‘A Separation’ will bleed over in this category as well, where it has been making a dent in other awards bodies.  ‘The Artist’ and ‘Midnight in Paris’ are locked up in a duel for the win.  That leaves two slots open for a variety of possibilities.  Both ‘50/50’ and ‘Bridesmaids’ have been landing on many screenplay ballots, but my thought is that The Academy will pass over their genre stigma and shoot for more ‘respectable’ or ‘familiar’ fare.  ‘Beginners’ already has a win in the bag, and it’s greatest asset as a film is that beautiful script, so I saw that it makes it as well as former winner Diablo Cody’s ‘Young Adult’, which has quite a pedigree behind it.





Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

The Descendants

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Help

Hugo

Moneyball



I don’t see this going any other way at this point.



---



Best Animated Feature

The Adventures of Tin Tin

Arthur Christmas

Puss in Boots

Rango

Winnie the Pooh



The only thing I know here is that ‘Rango’ is probably going to win, unless The Academy feels so bad for Spielberg’s Oscarless horse that they decide to vote in his favor with the technically impressive ‘Adventures of Tin Tin’.  Outside of that, I’m hoping (and praying) for a Winnie the Pooh surprise here.  That movie, while flawed, was just so delightful.  Forget those sequels, let’s go for nostalgic (which is quite frankly what they ARE going for in Best Picture).



Best Foreign Language Film

Footnote

In Darkness

Monsieur Lazhar

Pina

A Separation



‘A Separation’ and ‘In Darkness’ are the safest bets here.  I want to say that ‘A Separation’ has this in the bag, but this category is always a mess.  I’ve been placing false hope in ‘Pina’ all season, because it just looks so awesome, so maybe after making the longlist it’ll press on through to an Oscar nomination.



Best Documentary Feature

Buck

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Pina

Project Nim

Semper Fi: Always Faithful



Doubling up on ‘Pina’ was probably stupid, but I never know what the hell is going on in this category.



---



Best Music (Original Score)

The Artist

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hugo

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

War Horse



‘The Artist’ is winning; ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ will be the ‘edgy’ nominee; ‘Hugo’ and ‘War Horse’ are in on name alone and ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’ is going to make it in  on sudden surge and love for ‘The Skin I Live In’.



Best Music (Original Song)

Hello Hello

Lay Your Head Down

Life's A Happy Song

The Living Proof

Pictures in my Head



Maybe they’ll just nominate all of the ‘Muppets’ songs and call it a day.  I’d love to see ‘Man or Muppet’ in the lineup, but most likely they’ll go for ‘Pictures in my Head’ instead…and ‘The Living Proof’ is probably winning (could ‘The Help’ really be the big winner of the night?).  I don’t know.  ‘Hello Hello’ was probably a dumb call, but this year was crap for original songs.



Best Film Editing

The Artist

Drive

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hugo

Moneyball



This category is usually right on with Best Picture frontrunners unless the editing is flashy and undeniable.  I think that if ‘The Descendants’ were more of a force (I can’t see it taking any wins at this point) then it would be up here, but ‘Hugo’ and ‘The Artist’ will take the ‘frontrunner’ slots, while ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ and ‘Drive’ dominate with flashy cuts.  I’m hoping that ‘Moneyball’ gets in, considering that it’s editing is essential to the flow of the film and really something special.



Best Cinematography

The Artist

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hugo

The Tree of Life

War Horse



The guilds have spoken, but I have a feeling that ‘War Horse’ is probably going to peak in some categories, and this seems like one where The Academy will go “aw, it’s pretty” and vote for it.  ‘The Artist’ will triumph here, because it is black and white and ridding on the coattails of the Best Picture frontrunner.  ‘The Tree of Life’ is beautiful to look at, but Malick films always seem to lose here, even when they are outstanding examples of cinematography.



Best Art Direction

The Artist

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

The Help

Hugo

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy



‘Hugo’ has this in the bag, unless they go ‘The Artist’ crazy.  I’m not really sure after that though.  ‘Harry Potter’ has a good shot here, and ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’ has been linked to this category for a while.  ‘The Help’ could make it in as well.  After that, ‘War Horse’ and ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ are up for debate here.  I could see either one of those films surprising here.  Not sure after that though…?



Best Costume Design

The Artist

The Help

Hugo

Jane Eyre

W.E.



I’m going out on a limb here and saying that ‘W.E.’ is going to get in.  I mean, those clothes are BEAUTIFUL and this category often favors the biopic and the period drama, so it could easily sneak in, if enough members see the film.  ‘The Artist’ yet again, is a frontrunner here.



Best Makeup

The Artist

Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life

The Iron Lady



Old age makeup usually does well here, and ‘The Iron Lady’ seems to make the most of that.  Many think it’s the frontrunner here.



Best Sound Mixing

The Artist

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Hugo

The Rise of the Planet of the Apes

War Horse



Best Sound Editing

The Adventures of Tin Tin

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

Hugo

Super 8

War Horse



I don’t even begin to understand the sound categories, and it’s obvious that what I notice in a film is far from what the Academy usually embraces (I have one collective sound category at the Fisti’s and they usually differ drastically from Oscar).



Best Visual Effects

Captain America

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

Hugo

The Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Transformers Dark of the Moon



All I know is that ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ is our most likely winner.

Final Oscar Predictions!!!

Best Picture

The Artist

The Descendants

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Help

Hugo

Midnight in Paris

Moneyball







I’m predicting seven nominees. I think that ‘The Artist’, ‘The Descendants’ and ‘Hugo’ have nothing to worry about. They are locked up for this category and are really the only three films in contention for the win, unless there is a dramatic surge in another direction with PGA and DGA. After that, you have two films that received more love than anticipated and became those soft, commercial hits no one really expected; namely, ‘The Help’ and ‘Midnight in Paris’. Then it gets a little tricky. ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ was almost non-existent during the critic’s awards and even with the start of the televised awards (SAG, BFCA) but once the embargo was lifted and the reviews started pouring in, the guilds suddenly began to rally behind it (it was nominated with all of them) so I see this sudden surge of support transferring into a Best Picture nomination. The biggest questionmark for me is ‘Moneyball’. I currently have it predicted, but my faith is wavering now that Pitt has been delegated to ‘dark horse’ instead of ‘front runner’. It received impressive reviews, and it has stayed in conversation longer than many thought, but has it run its course just shy of seeing the fruits of its labor?







And, for the hell of it, I'll name three films (to complete a list of ten) that I think have dark horse chances of sneaking into the Best Picture race. The full on support that ‘Drive’ has received all season is telling, and BAFTA recently embraced it in a HUGE way, so I really think that it could make a surprise dent with the Academy as well. ‘War Horse’ was a giant disappointment, but it’s also Spielberg, so it needs to be in conversation at this point; and ‘A Separation’ is just HUGE right now. I know that foreign films VERY RARELY make it into Oscar’s Best Picture lineup, but the love surrounding this film is surprising and possibly enough to carry it all the way.







Best Directing

Fincher/The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hazanavicius/The Artist

Payne/The Descendants

Winding Refn/Drive

Scorsese/Hugo







DGA threw a wrench in the mix by nominating the long absent Fincher into the race, and then BAFTA tossed yet another wrench by nominating Winding Refn, proving that he was not just a critical darling (he won so many of those awards), but a big contender. Logic would tell you that it’ll be one or the other, but with Payne, Scorsese and Hazanavicius locked up, and five directors fighting for those last two spots (Fincher, Winding Refn, Allen, Spielberg and Miller), I just have a hunch that the directors branch may actually vote for a film (or films) that was heavily directed. Fincher and Winding Refn direct the hell out of their films, in good ways. Spielberg’s film has been delivering poorly with the guilds, and Miller’s film is floundering, and having recently watched ‘Midnight in Paris’ I’m baffled that Allen is even in contention considering that his film is so light and airy and not really the kind of film that feels especially well formatted. That big questionmark is Malick, but his film has failed to make any impact whatsoever outside of cinematography, which it’s most likely going to lose come Oscar night anyway, so I find those convinced that he’ll show up on Oscar’s shortlist to be quite odd.





Best Actor in a Leading Role

Clooney/The Descendants

DuJardin/The Artist

Fassbender/Shame

Oldman/Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Pitt/Moneyball



Voting against Leo, considering the fact that he’s been nominated for all the major awards (BFCA, SAG, Globe) is rather silly, I know, but his film has been panned basically, and he’s the films ONLY shot for a nomination, really, so I think that the sudden surge of ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’ love may propel Oldman into his long overdue Oscar nomination.  Also, Fassbender’s year and the fact that he’s in constant conversation may also be enough to get him in as well.  Pitt, Clooney and DuJardin aren’t going anywhere, and one of them is going to win.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see Michael Shannon or even Demian Bichir popped up, considering the attention they’ve received; but I’m betting on this lineup for now.



Best Actress in a Leading Role

Close/Albert Nobbs

Davis/The Help

Mara/The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Streep/The Iron Lady

Williams/My Week with Marilyn



I may be foolish, but I cannot see a lineup of all previous nominees so I’m putting faith in Mara pulling through here, considering the love that her film is garnering with the guilds.  Close and Swinton were the two I was debating who she’d replace and ultimately I concluded that ‘respect/dueness/sentimentality/passion project’ would trump ‘critically lauded/indie arthouse/recent winner’…so Swinton is out.  Honestly, I could still see either Elizabeth Olsen (she was supposed to be such a contender this year) or Charlize Theron surprising here as well.



Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Branagh/My Week With Marilyn

Brooks/Drive

Nolte/Warrior

Plummer/Beginners

Stoll/Midnight in Paris



When a category has such a defined winner (in this case, Plummer), then they are rich for a surprise or two.  Considering ‘Moneyball’s waning passion I’m counting Hill out at the moment and expecting that the Best Picture lock ‘Midnight in Paris’ is going to pull in Corey Stoll, who has been absent from the big guns but has not been forgotten.  He was rightfully singled out thanks to his fantastic performance, and so I think he could rise in the end.  Branagh and Nolte are pretty much happening (Nolte is also perfection, so he better happen).  Brooks seemed like a sure thing a while back, but the SAG and BAFTA snubs hurt a little.  Still, when it comes to #1 placements, I see him garnering more than Hill.



Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Bejo/The Artist

Chastain/The Help

McTeer/Albert Nobbs

Mulligan/Shame

Spencer/The Help



I’m stubborn, I know that.  I refuse to accept that Carey Mulligan is getting snubbed, although I may prefer her get a snub than get nominated and lose to Octavia Spencer.  Anyways, I’m betting on the ‘Shame’ pair to get in together.  Bejo and Chastain and Spencer are locked up.  McTeer has landed in all the right spots, and her performance is being mentioned for more than sentiment; apparently she’s really great in the film.  Woodley has a shot here, as does McCarthy and even Redgrave.  I expect any one of them to pop in instead of Mulligan, but like I said; I’m stubborn!



Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

The Artist

Beginners

Midnight in Paris

A Separation

Young Adult



The writing branch can and will nominate an unexpected treat and I think that the surge of support for ‘A Separation’ will bleed over in this category as well, where it has been making a dent in other awards bodies.  ‘The Artist’ and ‘Midnight in Paris’ are locked up in a duel for the win.  That leaves two slots open for a variety of possibilities.  Both ‘50/50’ and ‘Bridesmaids’ have been landing on many screenplay ballots, but my thought is that The Academy will pass over their genre stigma and shoot for more ‘respectable’ or ‘familiar’ fare.  ‘Beginners’ already has a win in the bag, and it’s greatest asset as a film is that beautiful script, so I saw that it makes it as well as former winner Diablo Cody’s ‘Young Adult’, which has quite a pedigree behind it.





Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

The Descendants

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Help

Hugo

Moneyball



I don’t see this going any other way at this point.



---



Best Animated Feature

The Adventures of Tin Tin

Arthur Christmas

Puss in Boots

Rango

Winnie the Pooh



The only thing I know here is that ‘Rango’ is probably going to win, unless The Academy feels so bad for Spielberg’s Oscarless horse that they decide to vote in his favor with the technically impressive ‘Adventures of Tin Tin’.  Outside of that, I’m hoping (and praying) for a Winnie the Pooh surprise here.  That movie, while flawed, was just so delightful.  Forget those sequels, let’s go for nostalgic (which is quite frankly what they ARE going for in Best Picture).



Best Foreign Language Film

Footnote

In Darkness

Monsieur Lazhar

Pina

A Separation



‘A Separation’ and ‘In Darkness’ are the safest bets here.  I want to say that ‘A Separation’ has this in the bag, but this category is always a mess.  I’ve been placing false hope in ‘Pina’ all season, because it just looks so awesome, so maybe after making the longlist it’ll press on through to an Oscar nomination.



Best Documentary Feature

Buck

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Pina

Project Nim

Semper Fi: Always Faithful



Doubling up on ‘Pina’ was probably stupid, but I never know what the hell is going on in this category.



---



Best Music (Original Score)

The Artist

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hugo

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

War Horse



‘The Artist’ is winning; ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ will be the ‘edgy’ nominee; ‘Hugo’ and ‘War Horse’ are in on name alone and ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’ is going to make it in  on sudden surge and love for ‘The Skin I Live In’.



Best Music (Original Song)

Hello Hello

Lay Your Head Down

Life's A Happy Song

The Living Proof

Pictures in my Head



Maybe they’ll just nominate all of the ‘Muppets’ songs and call it a day.  I’d love to see ‘Man or Muppet’ in the lineup, but most likely they’ll go for ‘Pictures in my Head’ instead…and ‘The Living Proof’ is probably winning (could ‘The Help’ really be the big winner of the night?).  I don’t know.  ‘Hello Hello’ was probably a dumb call, but this year was crap for original songs.



Best Film Editing

The Artist

Drive

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hugo

Moneyball



This category is usually right on with Best Picture frontrunners unless the editing is flashy and undeniable.  I think that if ‘The Descendants’ were more of a force (I can’t see it taking any wins at this point) then it would be up here, but ‘Hugo’ and ‘The Artist’ will take the ‘frontrunner’ slots, while ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ and ‘Drive’ dominate with flashy cuts.  I’m hoping that ‘Moneyball’ gets in, considering that it’s editing is essential to the flow of the film and really something special.



Best Cinematography

The Artist

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hugo

The Tree of Life

War Horse



The guilds have spoken, but I have a feeling that ‘War Horse’ is probably going to peak in some categories, and this seems like one where The Academy will go “aw, it’s pretty” and vote for it.  ‘The Artist’ will triumph here, because it is black and white and ridding on the coattails of the Best Picture frontrunner.  ‘The Tree of Life’ is beautiful to look at, but Malick films always seem to lose here, even when they are outstanding examples of cinematography.



Best Art Direction

The Artist

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

The Help

Hugo

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy



‘Hugo’ has this in the bag, unless they go ‘The Artist’ crazy.  I’m not really sure after that though.  ‘Harry Potter’ has a good shot here, and ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’ has been linked to this category for a while.  ‘The Help’ could make it in as well.  After that, ‘War Horse’ and ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ are up for debate here.  I could see either one of those films surprising here.  Not sure after that though…?



Best Costume Design

The Artist

The Help

Hugo

Jane Eyre

W.E.



I’m going out on a limb here and saying that ‘W.E.’ is going to get in.  I mean, those clothes are BEAUTIFUL and this category often favors the biopic and the period drama, so it could easily sneak in, if enough members see the film.  ‘The Artist’ yet again, is a frontrunner here.



Best Makeup

The Artist

Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life

The Iron Lady



Old age makeup usually does well here, and ‘The Iron Lady’ seems to make the most of that.  Many think it’s the frontrunner here.



Best Sound Mixing

The Artist

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Hugo

The Rise of the Planet of the Apes

War Horse



Best Sound Editing

The Adventures of Tin Tin

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

Hugo

Super 8

War Horse



I don’t even begin to understand the sound categories, and it’s obvious that what I notice in a film is far from what the Academy usually embraces (I have one collective sound category at the Fisti’s and they usually differ drastically from Oscar).



Best Visual Effects

Captain America

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

Hugo

The Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Transformers Dark of the Moon



All I know is that ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ is our most likely winner.