Friday, April 27, 2012

April Oscar Predictions; the visual categories...

I'm rushing through this...but my thoughts for now would be:

Costume Design:

Anna Karenina

Django Unchained

The Great Gatsby

Les Miserables

Snow White and the Huntsman



Dark Shadows

Great Expectations


Moonrise Kingdom

Visual Effects:


The Hobbit

Life of Pi


Snow White and the Huntsman


The Amazing Spider-Man

The Avengers


The Dark Knight Rises

Total Recall


The Dark Knight Rises

Django Unchained


Killing Them Softly

Les Miserables


The Gangster Squad

The Hobbit

Life of Pi


The Master

Art Direction:

Dark Shadows

Django Unchained

The Hobbit

Les Miserables



Anna Karenina

Great Expectations

The Great Gatsby

The Paperboy



The Dark Knight Rises

Les Miserables



Dark Shadows

The Hobbit


Thursday, April 26, 2012

The ball has been dropped...

So, it's been weeks and I haven't finished up my official predictions for the month.  I have four days left so I better hustle!  I guess I'll be working like gangbusters tomorrow.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

April Film Editing Predictions...

1)      Prometheus

2)      Les Miserables

3)      The Dark Knight Rises

4)      Anna Karenina

5)      Django Unchained


6)      The Great Gatsby

7)      Zero Dark Thirty

8)      Lincoln

9)      The Master

10)   The Hunger Games

Film Editing is somewhat representative of Oscar’s favorite ‘Best Pictures’ and then yet again, there is usually room for a flashy film to break in here and even win (as we saw last year) without getting Best Picture love.  If you win Best Picture though, you are most certainly going to be nominated here, and so it becomes difficult because you basically have to predict five films you think have the greatest shot at winning Best Picture.

The Dark Knight Rises is not winning Best Picture, but The Dark Knight was nominated here, and the editing is sure to be dynamic, so I have a feeling that it’ll make it in.  Django Unchained seems like an odd inclusion here, namely because I didn’t predict it in my top ten, but this is Tarantino and the editing is sure to be flashy.

So that brings us to three films that I think have the best chance at winning Best Picture this year; Prometheus, Les Miserables and Anna Karenina.

Watch it be Lincoln.

Prometheus is going to be a technical marvel, and the Ridley Scott narrative I think will carry this far.  Besides, the original film is a cult classic, the sequel was Oscar embraced and the idea of Scott returning to his roots is salivating to many.  The trailer looks fantastic, and while Oscar usually shies away from Science Fiction, this may be a welcomed exception to the rule.  Les Miserables and Anna Karenina probably seem like much safer and more Oscary bets for Best Picture, and that’s why they are here.  Les Miserables is going to be an awards powerhouse, and Anna Karenina is so detailed and intimate that I feel the editing will be an essential part in keeping the film gripping; so if it’s done right it’ll be a shoe-in here.

April Screenplay Predictions...

1)      Lincoln

2)      Anna Karenina

3)      The Great Gatsby

4)      Lawless

5)      Argo


6)      On the Road

7)      Les Miserables

8)      The Silver Lining’s Playbook

9)      Cogan’s Trade

10)   Life of Pi

Last year was so ripe in this category, and yet I still went 1/5 here.  LOL, my predictions were pretty terrible last year, and yet in retrospect they all somewhat make sense so I can’t say that I was stupid in making them.  Leaving Les Miserables off may seem stupid, but the source material may be too straightforward, and hopefully it will be transferred accurately and so I can’t see the writing branch giving a nomination to a transference of songs + one original, unless support for the film is SO overwhelming that they can’t NOT nominate it.  Still, Les Miserables could win everything else without getting in here.  Just look at other spectacles that took home top honors.  They don’t always get in here.

For me, Lincoln seems like a shoe in, as does Anna Karenina (literary classic adapted in a unique, less straightforward manner).  The Great Gatsby, if considered a success, should be a rather easy nomination as well, even if it misses in other top categories because of the adoration surrounding the novel itself.

After those three, I’m a bit stumped.  Lawless (formerly ‘The Wettest County in the World’) could be the surprise of the year, akin to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy last year.  I somewhat get that vibe from it, actually, which leads me to wish I had given Hardy or Labeouf a mention in Lead Actor.  Then we have On the Road.  I don’t know quite what to make of this film yet.  The trailer seemed a tad light, and then again it seemed earnest in a way.  The stars are young and popular and the supporting cast is filled with rich talent (Moss, Adams, Dunst!!!).  This is sure to be that ‘important’ film that grabs a younger audience and may actually be a box-office hit thanks to Stewart’s involvement.  Hedlund and Riley are both talented actors who have shone in the past…so maybe this will make a splash, and if it does then it could wind up nominated here even if not shown in other categories.

I’m waiting to hear more The Silver Linings Playbook.  I almost find it laughable that people think it’s a shoe-in because of David O. Russell being a recent Oscar nominee.  He’s been shunned for all of his signature work and gets welcomed in when he makes an ‘above average’ sports drama.  Seriously, this seems more in line with his standard fare, which is better than the stuff the Academy wants to recognize but is just that, not something the Academy will recognize.  Still, it could land in here or maybe somewhere else (many are claiming Lawrence heir to the Lead Actress throne, but I’m hesitant on that).

Life of Pi is a questionmark for me.  I mean, it could be just the type that makes a dent in a place like this, where devotees on the book vote for it en mass, and it is Ang Lee, so he should always be considered and then again, it is Ang Lee and he has far more misses with the Academy than actual hits; regardless of quality.

I’ve decided to swap out On the Road for Argo, Ben Affleck’s next picture.  His directorial efforts garner respect from the Academy, and I left him off my Director predictions rather foolishly (I was saying all last year how he’d be a shoe-in for a nomination on his next go around and then I totally forgot he had a film coming out this year while making my Director predictions).  Anyways, Argo is probably going to snag at least one if not three or four nominations thanks to his growing respect in the industry as a multi-tasker (he really is a very astute and talented director, and he’s grown leaps in just two films) so I could see it getting in here.

1)      The Surrogate

2)      Django Unchained

3)      The Master

4)      Inside Llewyn Davis

5)      Low Life

6)      Moonrise Kingdom

7)      Brave

8)      Hyde Park on Hudson

9)      Zero Dark Thirty

10)   To Rome with Love

Let’s just get out of the way that Woody Allen should always be in contention, but considering the overwhelming love he received last year (quite undeservedly) and the fact that this film looks really bland, I place him at a distant 10th spot here.

After that, I think it looks rather stacked.  You have inspired young directors who always find themselves honored in this category because it is easier to congratulate them for writing a great film than for directing it.  Wes Anderson, Quenton Tarantino, The Coen Brothers, PTA; this is their niche and most likely they’ll all be in serious contention for a nomination. 

I also think that The Surrogate seems like a lock here considering it’s buzz, it’s stars and the fact that an Indie drama usually lands in one of these categories thanks to sustained press and other nominations.  In fact, I think it’s the safest bet at this point in the game.  I’m also throwing Low Life a bone here considering the talent behind the film and the baitiness of the plot.  It just seems like a film that we could be underestimating a tad.

I wanted to predict Brave in my top five, especially since I think it has a great shot at a Best Picture nomination, but animated films really need to KILL in order to break in with this category; and it’s already so crowded.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April Best Picture Predictions...

Anna Karenina


The Dark Knight Rises


The Great Gatsby

Hyde Park on Hudson

Les Miserables



The Surrogate

So last year, at this time, I correctly predicted four of Oscar’s nine (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Moneyball, The Tree of Life and War Horse).  I want to think that I’ll do better this year, but I have a feeling that I won’t.  What’s funny is that of the four I got correct last year, three of them barely made it (Moneyball was the only film that was pretty much locked going into nomination morning).  So, let’s dissect this list a bit and see why I’m predicting what I’m predicting.

First, there are the ‘BIG’ movies; the period epics of sorts.  There is Les Miserables, Anna Karenina and The Great Gatsby.  They all have serious pluses and minuses.  Les Miserables is probably the safest bet, and honestly, it has a really great shot at sweeping through awards season winning many, many awards.  Tom Hooper is proven gold in this genre, and the source material is ridiculously baity.  Sure, the 1998 film went nowhere, but it was also a different animal.  This is going to be a musical starring actors who can sing, and Hooper is reeling off his recent win, so all eyes will be on this.  Sure, if it misses it could miss huge (there is so much riding on this) but my bets is that this is going to reap major rewards come Oscar season.  Anna Karenina is a tad trickier.  Joe Wright has been delivering quality work since he started back in 2005 (granted, I have refused to see The Soloist) and so it’s only a matter of time before he is embraced.  Knightley, Law, Williams…they are primed and ready for something like this, and the stills looks glorious; but there is the factor of his staging, which seems to be experimental and could rub Academy members the wrong way.  Still, I really think that this could hit huge, and maybe a more restrained Wright may sway them to eat this up.  The biggest gamble, in my opinion, is The Great Gatsby.  Baz is a wild one.  Outside of Moulin Rouge, he hasn’t been touched by the Academy.  His visual style is abrasive and very unique.  The last time he went ubber serious it resulted in Australia, which many a critic wrote off as a serious mess.  BUT, this is Fitzgerald and the lingering bad taste from the 1974 Coppola disaster could have Academy members wanting this to ‘come alive’ in more visionary hands.  Besides, DiCaprio, Edgerton and Mulligan are hot commodities right now.  Honestly, it’s the 3D that worries me the most.


I know, I’m scratching my head on that one too, but in a way I think it makes a lot of sense.  Prometheus is the one I have the most faith in, mainly because I think that the fact that Scott is so due for an Oscar could propel votes in his favor.  The original Alien films are heavily respected, and Scott excels in science fiction.  His best films dwell in that realm, and a return to form could spark a revival in admiration for his talent.  The Dark Knight Rises caps off a very successful superhero trilogy, and we all know that The Dark Knight was VERY close to breaking the top 5 back in 2008.  If Nolan ups the ante and delivers a respectable endcap then I really think that the Academy will feel compelled to reward him and the movie.  I could be very wrong, but if the box-office is huge (it will be) then it could easily make Best Picture, even if Nolan is once again snubbed in Director.  And then we have Gravity, which is also a really big questionmark.  I mean, the film seems so odd and yet so compelling.  Could this be that artsy science fiction film that blows everyone away, garners a slew of technical mentions and then surprises with Oscar by landing in Picture and Director…ala The Tree of Life?  It has promise, and then again, it could easily bomb, being perceived as a vanity piece.  A lot of this is going to depend on how well Cuaron delivers his vision; but if this is perceived as HIS film then it could wind up sneaking into the top categories on his shoulders alone.

Lincoln and Hyde Park on Hudson are the two biopics in the mix, and both looks extremely different.  For me, Lincoln seems to be the more serious and concentrated film, and with Spielberg and Day-Lewis (awards magnets themselves) I really think this is going to be huge.  Hyde Park on Hudson looks a lot lighter in tone, and Murray is obvious a different breed of actor than DDL.  I can’t help but get a Blindside feel from this, like it’ll be that lighter ‘serious’ film that garners its lead actor the coveted Oscar thanks to widespread likability and walks away with a surprise Best Picture nomination thanks to his success.

And then there is Brave, the token animated Pixar film that looks amazing (it’s an Irish Mulan) and that Indie that could, namely The Surrogate, which looks REALLY good to land it’s two stars Oscar nominations.

If I had to rank these ATM, it look something like this:

1)      Les Miserables

2)      Lincoln

3)      Brave

4)      Prometheus

5)      Anna Karenina

6)      The Dark Knight Rises

7)      The Great Gatsby

8)      The Surrogate

9)      Hyde Park on Hudson

10)   Gravity

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April Director Predictions...

Director is a tough one.  This is the category that mirror’s Best Picture so closely, that really you are essentially trying to decide which films are going to be Oscar’s top five.  So, this can be rather iffy.  You also have to weigh in the prestige factor and the due factor and, yeah…what the hell.

Right now I’m thinking…

1)      Tom Hooper/Les Miserables

2)      Ridley Scott/Prometheus

3)      Steven Spielberg/Lincoln

4)      Joseph Wright/Anna Karenina

5)      Christopher Nolan/The Dark Knight Rises

6)      P.T. Anderson/The Master

7)      Alfonso Cuaron/Gravity

8)      Baz Luhrmann/The Great Gatsby

9)      Quinton Tarantino/Django Unchained

10)   John Hillcoat/Lawless

I firmly believe that Les Miserables is going to be HUGE with the Academy, and they just rewarded Hooper, inducting him into their club, and you know they will want to validate that with another nod.  I don’t think he can pull off another win so soon; but then again, if this film is as big as if could be he could easily wind up a two time winner.  Spielberg seems like an obvious choice, but then again he seemed obvious last year to so many (not me) and yet he was snubbed despite his film getting in.  I can’t help but fear a J. Edgar redux with this film, but like last year, I’m heavily betting ON this film and just crossing my fingers that it doesn’t bite me in the ass.

Still, I honestly think that this could become Scott’s Oscar.  Prometheus looks amazing, and Scott lives and breathes in Science Fiction.  Returning to his roots seemed like a really bad idea on the outset, but the trailer and subsequent stills are all so phenomenal that I really think he’ll be in this race in a big way this year.  I don’t have him as my #1 simply because I think Hooper is a no brainer nomination, but Scott is my predicted winner despite what happens with his film (which I assume will get in with Best Picture but won’t stand a shot at winning). 

Then you have the newbie slots, which could go a slew of different places, but I’m betting on Wright and Nolan.  Nolan has been building towards this for a while and has been snubbed three times despite DGA support.  The Dark Knight was so close to Best Picture and Best Director and is still considered a major snub in both categories, so I’m betting that with this third installment and conclusion to the trilogy that the Academy will finally embrace him.  Wright has also been building towards this.  His snub on 07 was kind of disgusting when you think about it, and with the source material here I really think that this could be his year.  In fact, Anna Karenina could rival Les Miserables and be the easy alternate if they don’t want to reward Hooper so soon after handing him the Oscar.

Could Wright win?  Lord knows that his beautiful homage to yesteryears romantic dramas is fluid and undeniably Oscarish.

After that, I’m think Cuaron could land if Gravity becomes HIS film (which is really sounds like it could be) and thus centers all the attention around him, and yet I think it’ll be battling Prometheus for the techs and sciences fiction adoration and I think Scott’s dueness could overshadow his welcome wagon.  Tarantino is hit or miss, Academy wise, and I’m not sure that this is going to be the hit many expect it to.  It could feel too familiar or possibly too violent.  Tarantino has to gloss up his chaos in order to make it Academy friendly; and I’m not sure he’s going to do that.

Baz is surely the biggest questionmark, as is his film…

April Supporting Actor Predictions...

So, let’s knock this out too…

1)      Russell Crowe/Les Miserables

2)      David Strathairn/Lincoln

3)      Leonardo DiCaprio/Django Unchained

4)      John Cusack/The Paperboy

5)      Joel Edgerton/The Great Gatsby

6)      Samuel L. Jackson/Django Unchained

7)      Sacha Baron Cohen/Les Miserables

8)      Paul Giamatti/Cosmopolis

9)      Tommy Lee Jones/Lincoln

10)   Bruce Willis/Moonrise Kingdom

Ok, so we all know that I worship the ground that Russell Crowe acts on, and so I have been WAITING for this inevitability to happen.  This role, this film, this director, this track record, this EVERYTHING just screams Oscar frontrunner, and so I cannot wait for this to happen.  Sure, I hate Tom Hooper for stealing David Fincher’s Oscar, but Crowe>>>Fincher (in terms of my personal devotion) and so I’m willing to let the troll slide this time if it means Crowe can get within arm’s reach of his second Oscar (I’ll deal with a nomination at this point). 

But this category looks pretty packed with potential frontrunners.  I mean, you have previous nominee Strathairn in the Lincoln biopic with a plum role, if transferred correctly, and you have three time Oscar loser Leonardo DiCaprio coming off the heels of a snub in an Eastwood biopic now starring as the primary antagonist in a Tarantino flick; and we all know how well Tarantino and Supporting Villain go together.

I fully expect this to boil down to a Crowe/DiCaprio battle to the podium.

Then there is John Cusack.  I like him, not as much as I adore his sister, but he’s pretty good.  A lot of people have worked with him, he’s been skirting around recognition for years (and years) and this is a really good role for Oscar to recognize.  THEY LOVE VILLAINS IN THIS CATEGORY!  Still, I’m not completely sold considering his Oscar track record, even when he’s buzzed (wasn’t he supposed to be nominated in 2007 for that horribly mediocre Grace is Gone movie?).  Besides, are we really meant to expect that after the surprise phenom that was Precious took Oscar by storm that Lee Daniels is all of a sudden an Oscar name?  I mean, Precious could have been a fluke, and to be honest, his direction was the film’s worst asset.

And I love Joel Edgerton and where is career is heading and he is just primed and ready for an Oscar nomination; right?  He’s been turning in respectable work for the past few years and his star is ready to explode.  Sadly, this could be a case of Michael Fassbender (too hot and too young for his own good) but this is supporting, and The Great Gatsby could very well be a huge hit.  Also, this is a great role, so he has that going for him!

After that, we have the potential for a double up in various ways.  That was really the only reason I didn’t predict certain potentials.  I can’t really see them doubling up so much, and Supporting Actress is locked up for one and honestly, do they ever double up here (last time was in 1974), so I’m thinking no.  BUT, Sacha Baron Cohen could snag a first time nomination, if he nails it and controls himself in the midst of his Dictator campaigning.  Previous winner Tommy Lee Jones could come through if Lincoln proves more than a one (possibly two) man showpiece, and Tarantino + Samuel L. Jackson = magic; so there is that.

I know that Bruce Willis is complete and total wishful thinking, but I allow myself the liberty to do that this early in the game.

April Supporting Actress Predictions...

In thinking about the lovely ladies in contention for Supporting Actress, I’m certain of one (or should I say two) things…the girls from Les Miserables.  Barks and Hathaway are pretty much assured of a nomination, right?  I mean, such beautifully tailored characters that lend themselves effortlessly to standout attention.  Barks will be that stunning newbie plucked straight from Broadway to reprise her role and this will garner her a lot of attention.  She’ll be that ‘fresh face’ that comes out of nowhere to reap the rewards of her hard work.  Hathaway is another story.  She is a proven draw, she is a stunning beauty, a previous nominee and a respected ‘it girl’ who the Academy really likes.  She also has, arguably, the most memorable character in the film and it is really perfect for Oscar.

Hathaway is winning the Oscar this year!

Anyways, I’m jumping ahead of myself.

1)      Anne Hathaway/Les Miserables

2)      Samantha Barks/Les Miserables

3)      Laura Linney/Hyde Park on Hudson

4)      Isla Fisher/The Great Gatsby

5)      Sally Field/Lincoln

6)      Amy Adams/The Master

7)      Annette Bening/Ruby Sparks

8)      Olivia Williams/Hyde Park on Hudson

9)      Alicia Vikander/Anna Karenina

10)   Nicole Kidman/The Paperboy

I said what I wanted to say about the Les Miserables girls.  I mean, really; it’s happening. 

I’m somewhat torn about Laura Linney and Sally Field.  Lincoln could very well be the Daniel Day-Lewis show, and she may get minimal mentions whatsoever, and then again she could Helena Bonham Carter her way to a nomination if Lincoln becomes a King’s Speech sized awards magnet.  Laura Linney is far more ‘due’ than Field, but her film also seems a tad lighter.  I get the impression that Laura Linney is respected, but she’s never going to win an Oscar.  She just makes acting look so effortless, and the Academy doesn’t always respond to that favorably.  I have a feeling that she’ll get swooped into the Murray storm and garner a nomination here, but she won’t stand a chance at winning against Hathaway, who has a role she can really ‘act’ inside.

I’m going out on a limb here and saying that Isla Fisher gets a ‘welcome to the high ranks’ nomination for The Great Gatsby.  I get the impression that we are underestimating this film based on the 1974 film and the fact that it is Baz and he has decided to make this spectacle 3D, but the supporting roles are really juicy, especially Myrtle, and Fisher is a talented actress who has been working hard for the past few years.  Sure, she is basically Amy Adams less respected doppleganger, but this role should stretch her and really give her something to sink her teeth into.

After that, I’m not sure.  Annette Bening is owed an Oscar at this point, but neither of her upcoming projects really seem too baity to me; especially that one with Kristen Wiig, so I decided to place her here for the one by those Sunshine people.  It still sounds rather ‘un-Oscary’, but she is Annette Bening and her lose just two years ago still stings a little.  Supporting Actress is usually VERY kind to newbies, so Olivia Williams could break in after years of solid work and industry respect.  Still, are they going to double up twice in the same category?  Will Linney go lead?  I just get such a Kinsey impression from those stills (maybe it’s her frumpy look) so I can’t see her going lead…Murray is going to own that movie.  Maybe they’ll both be passed up and some unknown like Alicia Vikander will show up.  I’ve not read Anna Karenina, so I don’t know how her role is, but I hear from those who are familiar with it that it is the standout supporting role; so maybe she’ll get dragged into Keira’s awards storm (girl’s gon’ get that).

And then there is the Amy Adams conundrum.  She is in two films that could go over well with AMPAS.  On the Road appears to be her least likely option considering that the supporting female list goes on and on there and that the novel merely brushes up against the female characters, so she probably doesn’t have a lot to work with.  Then there is The Master, which is PTA, and he works wonders with his actors, but those who have read the script say that her character is nothing special.  Like Lincoln, could The Master boil down to the Philip Seymour Hoffman show?  We all know that There Will Be Blood was a one man show, despite stellar work from Paul Dano and Dillon Freasier.  The Master just doesn’t look like an ensemble to me.

Alas, this is only April; so who knows.

Monday, April 2, 2012

April Lead Actress Predictions

So, I caved and decided to work up another one today.  Lead Actress is a fun one, especially since everyone gets all crazy about it so far in advanced.  This year looks a little sparse, to be honest.  I mean, last year seemed so bountiful right out the gate, but I’m struggling to narrow down my list and quite honestly, I could see any one of these failing for a slew of reasons.  Last year I went 4/5 in my April Predictions (predicting Streep/Close/Mara/Williams) so I would love to say that I could repeat that success, but even I know that I’ll be lucky if I get 2/5 with this set.

But I couldn’t help myself.

1)      Helen Hunt/The Surrogate

2)      Keira Knightley/Anna Karenina

3)      Marion Cotillard/Low Life

4)      Mary Elizabeth Winstead/Smashed

5)      Scarlett Johansson/Under the Skin

6)      Nicole Kidman/My Wild Life

7)      Quvenzhane Wallis/Beasts of the Southern Wild

8)      Sandra Bullock/Gravity

9)      Viola Davis/Won’t Back Down

10)   Carey Mulligan/The Great Gatsby

Hunt is receiving great ink off her Sundance turn, and if she can sustain that buzz then she should have an easy nomination.  If doesn’t hurt that she is a previous winner and her win was 15 years ago.  I think the Academy would love to welcome her back.  She also has a great role and she could be perceived as part of a ‘team’ with Hawkes, which could bode very well for both of them.  Granted, it is a small movie, and who knows what kind of push it will get, but early word is really good right now so you never know.

Knightley is going to be starring in a REALLY big movie.  I have the utmost faith in Wright, since he is a real talent, and he knows how to direct Keira to greatness, so this could be her shining moment.  She has only grown as an actress since her first nomination back in 2005, and she’s been on the cuff of a nomination a few times since then (most notably in 2007) so this could be her second nom and possibly even her win.  She is young and pretty and fits the mold well for Oscar’s preferred winners circle (a tad young, but if the role is right…and this one is, then she could get gold).  Many balk that this is her wheelhouse, but this is also legendary material here, so if she nails it I doubt critics will mind.  Cotillard is fresh off a win, and like Knightley she has only grown and probably been close a few times since (most notably in 2009).  She’s a great actress, and this is a baity character!  She looks great in the set pics, and James Gray is ripe for Oscar recognition.

Speaking of directors who work well with actors who are ripe for Oscar recognition, let’s talk about Scarlett Johansson in Under the Skin.  Ok, so I understand that an alien who feeds off of men she picks up isn’t really Oscary on the outset, but if you’ve seen Birth then you know the kind of atmosphere Jonathan Glazer creates.  If anyone can make that premise feel grounded and distilled in all the right places, it is him.  I know this is a total wild card type prediction; filled to the brim with wishful thinking, but it’s about damn time Scarlett Johansson gets an Oscar nomination!  Mary Elizabeth Winstead has also received good early word and she fits that bill of relative unknown making a splash in an independent film.

I’m awaiting more word on Kidman’s film, but I’m leaving her at #6 for now.  Mulligan is a possibility, since she is respected, young, and in what may be a very high profile film; but the role is not a great one as far as awards are concerned, and she could very easily become forgotten to the more meatier supporting roles.  I think far too much stock is placed in Wallis’s chances at this point.  She is YOUNG, TOO YOUNG, but if she becomes a sensation due to being a revelation than it could happen.  Besides, who else is there at this point to speculate about?


April Lead Actor Predictions

Alright, so the more I think about this the more I can’t really knock anyone off at this point.  They all have detractors, and yet they all have so much narrative that I can’t see anyone missing at this point.  Yarp, they all feel so…right!  Of course, there are some other strong possibilities, and it really all depends on what films have the strongest critical response come awards season.  Everything could change overnight at this point.  Remember last year, pre-Cannes.  Who would have ever thought an unknown like DuJardin was going to come out of nowhere and win the Oscar?  So, I fully expect half of these predictions to fade away much like my initial predictions last year (Craig got nothing, Fassbender and Gosling were noted for other performances and DiCaprio held on strong despite horrid reviews only to be snubbed in the end) but WHICH ones?

Right now, here is my thoughts on the race…

1)      Hugh Jackman/Les Miserables

2)      Daniel Day-Lewis/Lincoln

3)      John Hawkes/The Surrogate

4)      Bill Murray/Hyde Park on Hudson

5)      Philip Seymour Hoffman/The Master

6)      Leonardo DiCaprio/The Great Gatsby

7)      Terence Stamp/A Song for Marion

8)      Oscar Isaac/Inside Lwelyn Davis

9)      Ryan Gosling/A Place Beyond the Pines

10)   Sam Riley/The Road

As far as Jackman is concerned, I think that this is an easy nomination, and possible win if Les Miserables explodes on impact.  I mean, the role is to die for and Jackman has the showmanship/musical talent needed to make the part come alive.  Besides, he’s paid his dues and it is time for the Academy to embrace him, and what better than for a role that is really tailor-made for him.  Tom Hooper has already been embraced (something tells me they jumped the gun with that one) so I think the Academy will be kind to him since they want to validate their foolishness (I still hate them for that), but really, this is going to be epic.  Jackman will be front and center and unless Crowe’s villainous role is larger than life (think DDL in Gangs of New York) and he gets promoted from obvious Supporting Actor frontrunner to Lead Actor contender, I see this being a cakewalk to Jackman all the way to the podium.

Both DDL and Hoffman are loved and they are showy.  They know how to chew up scenery, and they both have rather commanding roles here.  Lincoln is, well, a beloved historical icon.  I firmly believe that DDL has a very slim shot at winning, despite the fact that everyone assumes he will.  He already has two Oscars, one of which he won a few short years ago (in 2007) and despite his track record, the team behind this film is less successful in THIS category.  In fact, Spielberg has never directed an actor to an Oscar win; ever.  I think this is a really easy nomination (like, seriously…this is happening), but he won’t win.  Hoffman could win, if the role is undeniable.  Hoffman’s detractor though is himself.  I mean, he can be so abrasive, and this role could get hammy if he isn’t restrained when needed.  He can’t chew too much otherwise he could become questionable.  That said, Anderson is GREAT with his actors and has led many to a nomination and directed DDL to one of the more lauded Oscar WINS in recent history.  So, yeah, this could be epic.

Hawkes has a lot of buzz right now.  He’s coming off a nomination two years ago and great word of mouth thanks to his disturbing turn in Martha Marcy May Marlene last year.  This is a different character all together for him, and it is really right up Oscar’s ally.  I mean, he’s playing a quadropolegic seeking to lose his virginity.  He could very well have his own DDL moment here, if the cards fall in his favor.  But, he will have to sustain buzz amidst some bigger names.  At the end of the day, he could Jenkins his way into a nomination, but he’ll really have to build on his buzz at the right moment to go all the way.

And that leaves me with Bill Murray.  I want him to win an Oscar if only to compensate for Sean Penn stealing his deserved one.  This is a great role and looks to be a great take on the role for him.  The humor is apparent in the stills alone, but there is something so light about the photos (honestly, that is all we are judging this on right now) that scares me a little.  Before the photos were released, I toted Murray as our eventual winner.  It just seemed right.  Now, I’m doubtful.  Light films garner nominations quite a bit, but they rarely win (unless the love for the actor is too much to ignore…cough…Sandra Bullock).  Murray could pull this off, but I feel that for him to beat out more dramatic fare (which, let’s face it, is the more favored genre with Oscar) then he’s going to have to have a little more bite than I expect.

As for the rest, time will tell.  DiCaprio will win an Oscar someday, and I actually think that Supporting Actor this year is going to be a DiCaprio/Crowe battle to the end (seriously, I cannot wait to watch that unfold).  He could pull a double nomination if Baz’s take on The Great Gatsby is loved.  The 1974 film was kind of awful, so I’m more than happy to see it reimagined.  Gosling is bound to land a second nomination soon as well, and he did great work with this director already, so maybe he’ll make it in this year.  I also think that The Road may wind up being a really good movie that hits the right notes with Oscar.  I know that the trailer looked a little hard to really pinpoint, but he’s talented and the source material is said to be strong (I haven’t read it), so I could see him getting wrapped into the discussion.

But seriously, what is going on with Twelve Years a Slave?  I heard 2013 and then a poster was released that said 2012 and so I got excited.  If that happens this year than I think that Chiwetel Ejiofor is in.  He has been flying under the radar for far too long, and the role just screams OSCAR.  I just don’t know when it’ll be released, and right now IMDB has it listed as 2013, so I’m leaving him off for now.

Oh, and Eastwood will probably win this for yet another ‘grouchy old man’ performance in Trouble the Curve; but for now I’m going to pretend that that isn’t possible.

That’s it for now.  I’ll tackle another category tomorrow.