Tuesday, February 28, 2012

So, I took a day...

LOL, like I needed one.  I did pretty awful in my predicting, but what else is new?  Let's just say that Dujardin and Plummer are LOVELY winners, and Streep and Spencer are gracious ones.  Ha, I really wanted to see Davis experience her moment, but Streep made so much out of hers that I can't help but be happy to have witnessed it (is there really ANYONE better equipped to deliver an awards acceptance speech?).

Alas, this was a decent year.  I love The Artist, even if it isn't my particular favorite of the year (right now it's resting at #8 for me, but this year was RIDICULOUSLY strong).  Still, it was the best of the nominees...maybe (I really liked Moneyball too, and they really are way out in front of the actual nominees).

Now that this year is behind us, we have a whole new year to look forward too.  I'm just hopeing that I don't get so tied up by end of year that my blog takes another nose dive.  I really don't take care of this like I want to.  Still, I have been chipping away at my Fisti Awards, and lets be honest; I'm kind of the only person who reads this blog and the WHOLE REASON I started it was to have a place to post my awards, so yay for me.

Speaking of...the 2006 Acting Fisti Nominees are being posted in just a moment!

Friday, February 24, 2012

My final winners predictions for Oscar night.

Lead Actor:


  • Demián Bichir in "A Better Life"




  • George Clooney in "The Descendants"




  • Jean Dujardin in "The Artist"




  • Gary Oldman in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"




  • Brad Pitt in "Moneyball"






  • I know that common sense says that this is a battle between George Clooney and Jean Dujardin.  Clooney has the Globe and the BFCA, and he's become Oscar's chosen one, but Dujardin has Globe, SAG and BAFTA.  That, in my opinion, really gives Dujardin the edge, not to mention the fact that he's starring in the Best Picture frontrunner.  Oldman and Bichir are just along for the rides.  I could see a possible upset in Oldman's favor ONLY because he's supposedly beloved and older and this is his first nomination (which is a triumph in itself) and his film is peaking at the right moment, but in all honesty I still think that the best bet for an upset would be Pitt.  He's an underrated talent who has had a banner year and his film did surprisingly well with Oscar.  Still, I'm putting my money on Dujardin.

    Will win - Dujardin
    Should win - Dujardin
    Dark horse - Pitt

    Lead Actress:


  • Glenn Close in "Albert Nobbs"




  • Viola Davis in "The Help"




  • Rooney Mara in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"




  • Meryl Streep in "The Iron Lady"




  • Michelle Williams in "My Week with Marilyn"






  • It really looked for a while like this was going to be Michelle Williams Oscar.  She was doing ridiculously well with the critics awards and then her thunder was stolen and she walked away with a mere predictable Globe win.  Since the BFCA, this race has turned into a two way race (much like Lead Actor) between Streep and Davis.  Streep has the Globe and the BAFTA and Davis has the BFCA and the SAG.  There is large debate as to whose wins mean more, and I totally lean on the Davis side since SAG really is an important win.  BAFTA members, while usually the last to weigh in, don't contain a large majority if Oscar voters, and their taste is often skewed to films and or actors resonating from their homeland.  Streep's win was somewhat expected, considering who she was portaying in the film.  Still, I think there is a major factor in this race that is being ignored due to her poor showing overall, and that is Glenn Close.  She is an Oscar loser who is desperate for that golden man, to the point where she practically did this entire movie on her own to ensure herself Oscar gold.  It looks like it's backfireing, but sentiment goes a long way in this industry, so you never know.

    Will win - Davis
    Should win - Mara
    Dark horse - Close

    Supporting Actor:


  • Kenneth Branagh in "My Week with Marilyn"




  • Jonah Hill in "Moneyball"




  • Nick Nolte in "Warrior"




  • Christopher Plummer in "Beginners"




  • Max von Sydow in "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"






  • I've had this race pegged between Branagh and Plummer since the beginning of the year.  It just seemed right.  Oddly enough, this hasn't been a race at all.  Plummer has dominated, and rightfully so.  His beautiful performance in 'Beginners' is the perfect high note in his career resurgence to garner him the Oscar that has been absent from his career up until now (this is, bizarely, only his second nomination).

    Will win - Plummer
    Should win - Plummer
    Dark horse - Nolte

    Supporting Actress:


  • Bérénice Bejo in "The Artist"




  • Jessica Chastain in "The Help"




  • Melissa McCarthy in "Bridesmaids"




  • Janet McTeer in "Albert Nobbs"




  • Octavia Spencer in "The Help"






  • I don't understand what has happened here.  I mean, I really loved the ensemble of 'The Help' as a whole, but Spencer's domination of this race is bizare to me, especially since her also nominated co-star, Jessica Chastain, nearly swept through the critics awards and turned in the better performance.  Why isn't SHE winning the Oscar?  Besides that, Bejo is the best in the bunch (although she is arguably lead), but this category is sadly underwhelming.  Where is Carey Mulligan?  Where is Vanessa Redgrave?  Why is this category so bland?

    Will win - Spencer
    Should win - Chastain (simply because Bejo is lead and Chastain is truly supporting)
    Dark horse - Bejo

    Animated Feature:


  • "A Cat in Paris" Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli




  • "Chico & Rita" Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal




  • "Kung Fu Panda 2" Jennifer Yuh Nelson




  • "Puss in Boots" Chris Miller




  • "Rango" Gore Verbinski






  • Rango.  There really isn't any use debating this since Tin Tin was snubbed here.

    Will win - Rango
    Dark horse (or, for fun, the random nominee I chose as a possible upset) - A Cat in Paris

    Art Direction:


  • "The Artist"
    Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould




  • "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2"
    Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan




  • "Hugo"
    Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo




  • "Midnight in Paris"
    Production Design: Anne Seibel; Set Decoration: Hélène Dubreuil




  • "War Horse"
    Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales





  • Hugo has dominated this particular category, and I expect it to continue on to winning the Oscar here too, unless The Artist REALLY sweeps (which is could).  This is somewhat uninspired, but expected I guess.  I don't understand the constant repeat nominations for Harry Potter when they seem to regurgitate a lot of the same sets.  I mean, if they aren't good enough to win (ever) then why keep nominating them?

    Will win - Hugo
    Should win - Hugo
    Dark horse - The Artist

    Cinematography:


  • "The Artist" Guillaume Schiffman




  • "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Jeff Cronenweth




  • "Hugo" Robert Richardson




  • "The Tree of Life" Emmanuel Lubezki




  • "War Horse" Janusz Kaminski






  • All signs point to this finally being Lubezki's Oscar ticket.  The movie is respected, his work is ridiculously good and the film actually landed (surprisingly) in Best Picture and Best Director after a poor guild showing.  Still, Malick films are disgustingly under-rewarded when it comes to Oscar and Oscar tends to fawn over Best Picture frontrunners.  The Artist also has that added bonus of being presented in glorious black and white.  I usually lose my shit for black and white cinematography, but I for one was not that impressed with many of the technical aspects of The Artist (I wouldn't nominate it here, or in Art Direction and Costume design) so I hope my gut is wrong, but I really think that The Artist is going to win this rather easily.

    Will win - The Artist
    Should win - The Tree of Life
    Dark horse - The Tree of Life

    Costume Design:


  • "Anonymous" Lisy Christl




  • "The Artist" Mark Bridges




  • "Hugo" Sandy Powell




  • "Jane Eyre" Michael O'Connor




  • "W.E." Arianne Phillips






  • This category, much like Makeup, is usually a wild guess.  I mean, this could really go any which way and it wouldn't be that surprising.  Oscar loves period pieces, and all of these fit that bill with the exception of parts of W.E. and possibly, depending on how you define period, Hugo.  Also, they love Hollywood, and so The Artist has that covered, not to mention that they love Best Picture frontrunners and that Havey character.  But they also love Sandy Powell.  UGH.  What the hell!

    Will win - The Artist
    Should win - W.E.
    Dark horse - Jane Eyre

    Directing:


  • "The Artist" Michel Hazanavicius




  • "The Descendants" Alexander Payne




  • "Hugo" Martin Scorsese




  • "Midnight in Paris" Woody Allen




  • "The Tree of Life" Terrence Malick






  • Is there really any doubt here?  Allen and Scorsese are previous winners.  Scorsese has won a few important awards, and his film has the most nominations of any film nominated this year.  Malick is well respected, a surprise here but his film is beloved for this very aspect of it.  Payne is helming that one film that a lot of people love for some weird reason, and he's been here before.  Then there is that French guy.  Seriously, don't matter who you are on that list, if your name isn't Michel Hazanavicius then you didn't direct The Artist, and if you didn't direct The Artist then you aren't going to win this Oscar.

    Will win - Hazanavius
    Should win - Hazanavius
    Dark horse - Scorsese

    Documentary:


  • "Hell and Back Again" Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner




  • "If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front"
    Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman




  • "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory"
    Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky




  • "Pina"
    Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel




  • "Undefeated"
    TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Rich Middlemas






  • My wild guess - Pina

    Documentary (short subject):


  • "The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement"
    Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin




  • "God Is the Bigger Elvis"
    Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson




  • "Incident in New Baghdad" James Spione




  • "Saving Face"
    Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy




  • "The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom"
    Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen






  • My wild guess - The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

    Film Editing:


  • "The Artist" Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius




  • "The Descendants" Kevin Tent




  • "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall




  • "Hugo" Thelma Schoonmaker




  • "Moneyball" Christopher Tellefsen






  • This category usually favors the Best Picture frontrunner, unless the showiness of the editing is too undeniable.  I'd say, without hesitation, that this is The Artist's to lose.

    Will win - The Artist
    Should win - Moneyball or The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (for different reasons, but both are stellar)
    Dark horse - The Descendants

    Foreign Language Film:


  • "Bullhead" Belgium




  • "Footnote" Israel




  • "In Darkness" Poland




  • "Monsieur Lazhar" Canada




  • "A Separation" Iran






  • I hate this category.  The rules that apply here make it really difficult to determine the frontrunner.  Whenever a film feels like it's going to win (Amelie, Pan's Labyrinth, The White Ribbon) it loses to a lesser film with sudden surgence (except in the case of Pan's, which lost to a much better film overall).  A Separation appears to be on track to take this without obstical.  It has dominated, and many consider this to be the best film of the year, regardless of language.  Still, I'm almost hesitant to choose it as the winner.  I'll stick with it, but when another film is called I won't be surprised.

    Will win - A Separation
    Dark horse - In Darkness

    Makeup:


  • "Albert Nobbs"Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle





  • "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2"
    Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight and Lisa Tomblin





  • "The Iron Lady" Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland






  • Will win - The Iron Lady
    Dark horse - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

    Original Score:


  • "The Adventures of Tintin" John Williams




  • "The Artist" Ludovic Bource




  • "Hugo" Howard Shore




  • "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" Alberto Iglesias




  • "War Horse" John Williams






  • Will win - The Artist
    Should win - The Artist
    Dark horse - Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

    Original Song:


  • "Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets"
    Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie





  • "Real in Rio" from "Rio"
    Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown; Lyric by Siedah Garrett




  • What the hell happened here?

    Will win - The Muppet song
    Dark horse - The other song

    Best Picture:

  • "The Artist" Thomas Langmann, Producer




  • "The Descendants" Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers




  • "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" Scott Rudin, Producer




  • "The Help" Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers




  • "Hugo" Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers




  • "Midnight in Paris" Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers




  • "Moneyball" Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers




  • "The Tree of Life" Sarah Green, Bill Pohlad, Dede Gardner and Grant Hill, Producers




  • "War Horse" Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers




  • This is really a three way race between The Descendants, Hugo and The Artist.  The Artist is OBVIOUSLY out in front, but the same reasons that it is in front could ultimately be the same reasons it comes in second place on Sunday night.  It's almost like playing devil's advocate here, because the support for the film is almost overwhelming,  but it is silent and it is French and it is light and frothy.  The Descendants is heavyhanded and Oscary in tone and Hugo is Scorsese and has reached that beloved status and is, well, American.  Still, The Artist should take this in the end.

    Will win - The Artist
    Should win - Moneyball (by a hair, but The Artist is my second pick from this rather lackluster lineup)
    Dark horse - Hugo

    Short Film (animated):

  • "Dimanche/Sunday" Patrick Doyon




  • "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg




  • "La Luna" Enrico Casarosa




  • "A Morning Stroll" Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe




  • "Wild Life" Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby


  • Wild guess - La Luna

    Short Film (live action):
  • "Pentecost" Peter McDonald and Eimear O'Kane

  • "Raju" Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren

  • "The Shore" Terry George and Oorlagh George

  • "Time Freak" Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey

  • "Tuba Atlantic" Hallvar Witzø


  • Wild guess - Tuba Atlantic

    Sound Editing:
  • "Drive" Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis

  • "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Ren Klyce

  • "Hugo" Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty

  • "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl

  • "War Horse" Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom


  • Will win - War Horse
    Should win - Drive
    Dark horse - Hugo

    Sound Mixing:
  • "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
    David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson

  • "Hugo"
    Tom Fleischman and John Midgley

  • "Moneyball"
    Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, David Giammarco and Ed Novick

  • "Transformers: Dark of the Moon"
    Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin

  • "War Horse" Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson


  • Will win - War Horse
    Should win - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    Dark horse - Hugo

    Visual Effects:
  • "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2"
    Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson

  • "Hugo" Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossmann and Alex Henning

  • "Real Steel"
    Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg

  • "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett

  • "Transformers: Dark of the Moon"
    Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier


  • Will win - Rise of the Planet of the Apes
    Should win - Rise of the Planet of the Apes
    Dark horse - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

    Adapted Screenplay:
  • "The Descendants" Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash

  • "Hugo" Screenplay by John Logan

  • "The Ides of March" Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon

  • "Moneyball" Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin; Story by Stan Chervin

  • "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" Screenplay by Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan


  • This is a two man race, with Moneyball and The Descendants going toe to toe for their possible sole in of the night (baring any surprises).  I'm leaning towards Moneyball, since it is far more deserving, but the recent win for The Descendants could swing things in its favor.

    Will win - Moneyball
    Should win - Moneyball
    Dark horse - The Descendants

    Original Screenplay:
  • "The Artist" Written by Michel Hazanavicius

  • "Bridesmaids" Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig

  • "Margin Call" Written by J.C. Chandor

  • "Midnight in Paris" Written by Woody Allen

  • "A Separation" Written by Asghar Farhadi


  • Will win - The Artist
    Should win - I still need to see A Separation, so I can't really say, but I'd take Bridesmaids over the other four (screenplay wise)
    Dark horse - Midnight in Paris

    Monday, February 13, 2012

    Ah, what the hell.

    I'm so all over the place right now.  I should be blogging about the BAFTA awards and yet I haven't even weighed in on SAG yet and for some reason I'm so over this Awards Season already.  UGH.  I'm pretty sure that Viola is taking that Oscar.  Please don't let Streep win until she does something to rival her 80's magesty!

    So, to divert myself from a headache on the subject, I'm pushing forward with compiling my Fisti Awards.  As some of you may know, I've been working through the Aughts in order and have just finished posting 2005's awards.  In working up 2006 I've decided to go ahead and get the 90's and this new decade (what shall we call it) started.  I've been biding my time with the year that was 1990 because there is a certain film that I haven't seen that I wanted to see before posting my awards, but I am getting tired of waiting for Netflix or Amazon or Blockbuster or WTFEver to carry it so that I can indulge...

    I'm talking about Wild at Heart.

    Oh well, I love 1990 and I LOVE my ballots so I'm not too worried that I'm missing something that would totally 'change the game' so to speak.  You can correct me if I'm wrong. 

    Anyways, I thought I'd bring up the three years I'm starting to post here on the main page to get your input.  I'm posting the Best Picture ballots for 1990, 2006 and 2010 today.  I'll just go ahead and post below my top twelve in each category, in alpha order so as not to spoil the surprise (make sure you click on the Awards pages on the left of the screen to see my ballots!).

    1990:

    Awakenings
    The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover
    Days of Being Wild
    Edward Scissorhands
    Europa Europa
    Goodfellas
    The Grifters
    Ju Dou
    Longtime Companion
    Metropolitan
    Miller's Crossing
    Misery

    I love this year.  There is a great mix of genre films as well as true inspired dramas and biopics, and foreign cinema (especially Asian cinema) was just ridiculously good.  What do you think of this top twelve?  Which would you nominate in a field of five?

    2006:
    After the Wedding
    Borat
    Brick
    Casino Royale
    Children of Men
    The Descent
    Half Nelson
    The Lives of Others
    The Prestige
    The Proposition
    Marie Antoinette
    Volver

    Again, I love this year.  This is also one of those rare years where I don't consider any of Oscar's top five worthy of my top twelve.  I don't think that has ever happened before...there is usually at least one cross over.  Anyways, this was a lighter year, with some heavy fare, but for the most part it was more genre than anything else.  Horror films like The Descent and Western Revival films like The Proposition really stole my attention.  How about you?  Which of my top twelve is your favorite?

    2010:

    Animal Kingdom
    Blue Valentine
    Despicable Me
    Everyone Else
    Four Lions
    Inception
    The Kids Are All Right
    Ondine
    Rabbit Hole
    The Social Network
    Toy Story 3
    White Material

    I'll be honest; I kind of feel underwhelmed looking back over last year (er, two years ago...right?).  I mean, when I look at my current ballot for 2011 (and I have so much more to see still) I am overwhelmed by the amount of masterpiece cinema I was subjected to (my current top twelve makes me quiver with excitement) and in my top twelve I can only really feel that feeling for four of these films.  I'll spoil your peeking right now and say that 'The Social Network' is STILL my pick for the first official masterpiece of the new decade, and I've yet to see anything that would top it; it's perfect.  That said, I can't feel that way about 2010 as a whole.  Performance wise, it has some of the strongest I've seen in YEARS (just wait till I get to the acting, for this year in particular was a fricking GOLDMINE), but in overall strenght in film itself, it is kind of weak.

    Alas, that is only my opinion...what about yours?