Tuesday, January 25, 2011

No Oscar for True Grit and Other Oscar Predictions

The Academy Award nominations were announced today, which means Oscar predictions must be made. And no, I have not seen all the films nominated, which doesn't stop anyone else from making predictions either.

Best ActorColin Firth
The King's Speech
Last year Colin Firth was nominated for A Single Man and lost out to Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart. This year Jeff Bridges is nominated for True Grit and will lose out to Colin Firth. Because that's the way Hollywood works.
Best ActressJennifer Lawrence
Winter's Bone
Jennifer Lawrence wins after Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right and Natalie Portman in Black Swan split the lesbian vote, and Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole and Michele Williams in Blue Valentine split the sympathy for falling in love with a Brokeback man (no Tom Cruise, I do not mean you).
Best Supporting ActorChristian Bale
The Fighter
Hollywood loves giving Oscars to its boxing movies and thinks they have much to say about America: Million Dollar Baby, When We Were Kings, Raging Bull, Rocky, Somebody Up There Likes Me, Champion, Body and Soul, The Champ, even On The Waterfront would not have been an Oscar contender without the boxing theme.
Best Supporting ActressAmy Adams
The Fighter
The third time is the charm for Amy Adams after being nominated for this award twice before for Junebug and Doubt. It's a boxing movie.
Best Adapted ScreenplayAaron Sorkin
The Social Network
Hollywood still loves Aaron Sorkin for the TV show The West Wing and is no friend to Facebook. The best hack award will go to this entertaining hatchet job of a movie.
Best Original ScreenplayLisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
The Kids Are All Right
Hollywood really wants you to see this movie about a lesbian couple raising children together so it must win an Oscar. At least it promises to have strong sexual content and nudity.
Best Feature DocumentaryBanksy and Jaimie D'Cruz
"Exit through the Gift Shop"
Hollywood also really wants to meet Banksy and is willig to play the long odds that Banksy will show up to claim the Oscar. Again, I am not Banksy. I am available for afterparties.
Best Animated FeatureThe IllusionistEven if I have not seen it, I have seen Toy Story 3 and How to Train Your Dragon. They weren't awful, they just weren't Oscar.
Best DirectorDarren Aronofsky
Black Swan
This movie also must win one of the major awards, and this is the one I think it will win. Why else would Christopher Nolan be shut out of this category for Inception? Oh right, it's science fiction.
Best PictureThe Social NetworkPay attention, this is complicated: The Kids Are All Right cancels Black Swan for the aforementioned reason, 127 Hours cancels True Grit for the how tough are you vote, Inception cancels The King's Speech for the clever Brit vote, Winter's Bone cancels The Fighter for the gritty realism vote. That leaves The Social Network and Toy Story 3. Who wouldn't prefer seeing what multi-billionaire Mark Zuckerberg did at college than learn about what happened to the childhood toys he left behind?

My big prediction is that the Joel and Ethan Coen brothers' movie True Grit doesn't win any major awards despite ten nominations overall. You remake a classic, you better do the best work of your career. Good isn't good enough, or at least it shouldn't be.

The King's Speech got twelve nominations, so it could do better than the one major award I have predicted. By contrast The Social Network got eight nominations, proving perhaps that it is a great story and not necessarily the greatest movie.

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