Oscar Picks 1

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TYLER MALONE’S OSCAR PICKS

Who Will Win & Who Should Win

Film Insight by Tyler Malone

February 2011

*BEST PICTURE:

The Nominees: Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King’s Speech, 127 Hours, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, and Winter’s Bone.

What Should Have Been Nominated: I can’t believe my favorite film of the year, Blue Valentine, wasn’t nominated, especially since now the Academy has 10 Best Picture nominations.  I also don’t know why Never Let Me Go was completely overlooked–why were voters so unmoved by such a beautiful film?

What Should Win: Of what is nominated, I’d have to say I’m rooting for The Black Swan.

What Will Win: Apparently all the insiders claim that The King’s Speech is going to win, even though a month ago they were all singing a different tune.  The King’s Speech didn’t win the Golden Globe, but it has won just about everything since: the PGA, the DGA and the SAG awards.

Dark Horse: My gut instinct still says The Social Network though.  Trust me, this will be a tight race.

*BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE:

The Nominees: Javier Bardem in Biutiful, Jeff Bridges in True Grit, Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network, Colin Firth in The King’s Speech, and James Franco in 127 Hours.

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Ryan Gosling in Blue Valentine.  And also, sidenote: I think I prefer James Franco’s acting in this year’s Howl than in 127 Hours–though he was definitely phenomenal in both.  But was he nominated for the wrong film?

Who Should Win: I claimed Colin Firth should have won last year for A Single Man, but it was given to Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart.  I will again claim that Colin Firth should win the award, and I hope Jeff Bridges won’t steal it from him again.

Who Will Win: Colin Firth, and there’s really  no way Jeff Bridges can steal it from him.

Dark Horse: Javier Bardem is probably the only man Firth has to worry about–and really he has nothing to worry about.

*BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE:

The Nominees: Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right, Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole, Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone, Natalie Portman in Black Swan, and Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine.

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Tilda Swinton was amazing, as always, in the foreign film I Am Love.

Who Should Win: Natalie Portman hit a career highpoint with Black Swan.

Who Will Win: Natalie Portman pretty much has it in the bag.

Dark Horse: Don’t count out Annette Bening, who the Academy might feel sorry for passing over so many times in the past.  Then again, even I, one of Annette Bening’s biggest fans, will admit that Portman deserves it, so let me reiterate: Natalie Portman pretty much has it in the bag.

*BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:

The Nominees: Christian Bale in The Fighter, John Hawkes in Winter’s Bone, Jeremy Renner in The Town, Mark Ruffalo in The Kids Are All Right, and Geoffrey Rush in The King’s Speech.

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Andrew Garfield, for his role in The Social Network or his role in Never Let Me Go.  He is an amazing young actor who will be nominated in the future.

Who Should Win: Christian Bale is a phenomenal actor, and as far as I’m concerned The Fighter was his and Melissa Leo’s movie, not Mark Wahlberg’s and Amy Adams’.  That said, I think Geoffrey Rush deserves it for his performance just as much.  He is as amazing in The King’s Speech as Bale is in The Fighter, but unlike Bale, he is overshadowed by his lead.

Who Will Win: Christian Bale.

Dark Horse: Geoffrey Rush–especially if The King’s Speech starts sweeping the awards.

*BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:

The Nominees: Amy Adams in The Fighter, Helena Bonham Carter in The King’s Speech, Melissa Leo in The Fighter, Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit, and Jacki Weaver in Animal Kingdom.

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Mila Kunis–though I’ve never been a big fan of hers–was phenomenal in The Black Swan.  Not sure it warranted a nomination, but I felt it worth mentioning here nonetheless.

Who Should Win: My vote goes to Helena Bonham Carter.

Who Will Win: Melissa Leo, unless that whole ad controversy brings her down.

Dark Horse: Hailee Steinfeld is Ebert’s pick.  Ebert is like Maine in that classic American maxim: as Ebert goes, so goes the nation.  Or not…

*BEST DIRECTING:

The Nominees: Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan, David O. Russell for The Fighter, Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech, David Fincher for The Social Network, and Joel and Ethan Coen for True Grit.

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Derek Cianfrance for Blue Valentine. And everyone seems to be saying Christopher Nolan got robbed by not being nominated for Inception.  That may or may not be true.

Who Should Win: Darren Aronofsky, one of the best directors working today.

Who Will Win: David Fincher, who will most likely take home a statuette whether his film wins Best Picture or not.

Dark Horse: Tom Hooper won the DGA.  The DGA generally picks the director that the Oscar will go to.  And also:  The King’s Speech is probably going to win Best Picture.  Two tell-tale signs it could go to Hooper.

*BEST WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY):

The Nominees: Mike Leigh for Another Year, Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson for The Fighter, Christopher Nolan for Inception, Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg for The Kids Are All Right, and David Seidler for The King’s Speech.

Who Should Have Been Nominated: The fact that the writers of Black Swan are not being recognized is quite disappointing.

Who Should Win: Mike Leigh for Another Year.

Who Will Win: David Seidler for The King’s Speech–especially if this movie starts to sweep the awards.

Dark Horse: Christopher Nolan could get some love here since he was cut out of a chance for Best Director.

*BEST WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY):

The Nominees: Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy for 127 Hours, Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network, Michael Arndt, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich for Toy Story 3, Joel and Ethan Coen for True Grit, and Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini for Winter’s Bone.

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Alex Garland for Never Let Me Go?

Who Should Win: Aaron Sorkin’s script for The Social Network is pitch-perfect.

Who Will Win: How could it go to anyone other than Sorkin?

Dark Horse: I repeat: How could it go to anyone other than Sorkin?

*BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM:

The Nominees: How to Train Your Dragon, The Illusionist, and Toy Story 3.

What Should Have Been Nominated: My Dog Tulip was the best animated film of the year.  Sorry Toy Story 3, but you only get my vote because the best animated film of the year wasn’t nominated.

What Should Win: Since My Dog Tulip isn’t up, Toy Story 3 obviously.

What Will Win: Toy Story 3.

Dark Horse: There is no dark horse.  Toy Story 3 can basically already consider itself the winner.

*BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM:

The Nominees: Exit Through the Gift Shop, Gasland, Inside Job, Restrepo, and Waste Land.

What Should Have Been Nominated: The Art of the Steal was one of the most engrossing documentaries I’d seen in a while.

What Should Win: Many people are saying that Restrepo outdoes The Hurt Locker at its own game.  The truth is that it blows the mediocre Hurt Locker out of the water. Restrepo is phenomenal.

What Will Win: Conventional wisdom says Inside Job.

Dark Horse: Don’t rule out Restrepo or the Banksy-helmed Exit Through the Gift Shop.

*BEST FOREIGN FILM:

The Nominees: Biutiful from Mexico, Dogtooth from Greece, In a Better World from Denmark, Incendies from Canada, and Outside the Law from Algeria.

What Should Have Been Nominated: I Am Love. More like: I am disappointed.

What Should Win: Dogtooth is one of the most original films I’ve seen in years.

What Will Win: In a Better World has a good chance since it took home the Golden Globe.

Dark Horse: Biutiful has a good chance as well, with its big name star and big name director.

*BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:

The Nominees: Matthew Libatique for Black Swan, Wally Pfister for Inception, Danny Cohen for The King’s Speech, Jeff Cronenweth for The Social Network, and Roger Deakins for True Grit.

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Adam Kimmel for Never Let Me Go.

Who Should Win: In a field this good, it’s hard for me to pick who deserves it most.

Who Will Win: Roger Deakins is one the most respected cinematographers in the business and, though he’s been nominated plenty, he has yet to win an award.  Conventional wisdom says this will be his night.

Dark Horse: If it doesn’t go to Deakins, I think it is up in the air.

*BEST FILM EDITING:

The Nominees: Andrew Weisblum for Black Swan, Pamela Martin for The Fighter, Tariq Anwar for The King’s Speech, Jon Harris for 127 Hours, and Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter for The Social Network.

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Lee Smith’s work for Inception seemed like an early frontrunner this Summer, but apparently couldn’t hold steam.

Who Should Win: Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter for The Social Network, which depended so much on its brilliant editing.

Who Will Win: The Social Network.

Dark Horse: Because The King’s Speech has such momentum, it shouldn’t be ruled out in any of these races.

*BEST ART DIRECTION:

The Nominees: Robet Stromberg and Karen O’Hara for Alice in Wonderland, Stuart Craig and Stephenie McMillan for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Guy Hendrix Dyas, Larry Dias and Doug Mowat for Inception, Eve Stewart and Judy Farr for The King’s Speech, and Jess Gonchor and Nancy Haigh for True Grit.

Who Should Win: It is so hard to separate the one great part from an utterly abominable film.  Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland was god-awful, but I will admit it was quite visually stunning.  I guess I can accept that Stromberg and O’Hara should win.

Who Will Win: Stromberg and O’Hara for Alice in Wonderland.

Dark Horse: If it’s not Alice in Wonderland, who knows?

*BEST COSTUME DESIGN:

The Nominees: Colleen Atwood for Alice in Wonderland, Antonella Cannarozzi for I Am Love, Jenny Beavan for The King’s Speech, and Mary Zophres for True Grit.

Who Should Win: I’ll go with The King’s Speech.

Who Will Win: If there’s a sweep for The King’s Speech, you can count on it taking Best Costume Design.

Dark Horse: Othewise maybe Alice in Wonderland?

*BEST MAKEUP:

The Nominees: Adrien Morot for Barney’s Version, Edouard F. Henriques, Gegroy Funk and Yolanda Toussieng for The Way Back, and Rick Baker and Dave Elsey for The Wolfman.

Who Should Have Been Nominated: I’m pretty surprised Alice in Wonderland isn’t nominated here since it was nominated for its costume design and art direction.

Who Should Win: It’s a toss up…

Who Will Win: Because it involved the most drastic transformation, Rick Baker will probably win for creating the werewolves for The Wolfman, even though that film was as bad as Alice in Wonderland.

Dark Horse: Don’t rule out Adrien Morot.  Though his work on Barney’s Version wasn’t as out there and obvious as the work on The Wolfman, it was no less inspired.

*BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:

The Nominees: Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips for Alice in Wonderland, Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell for Hereafter, Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb for Inception, and Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick for Iron Man 2.

Who Should Win: Inception.

Who Will Win: I think this is the one award Inception is pretty much guaranteed to win.

Dark Horse: Alice in Wonderland could somehow manage to take it away from the Inception team, but I don’t think it is very likely.

*BEST SOUND EDITING:

The Nominees: Richard King for Inception, Tom Myers and Michael Silvers for Toy Story 3, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague for Tron: Legacy, Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey for True Grit, and Mark P. Soteckinger for Unstoppable.

Who Should Have Been Nominated: I would have given a nomination to The Social Network, whose sound was amazing.

Who Should Win: I’d go with Inception.

Who Will Win: I’d go with Inception.

Dark Horse: If not Inception, then who knows?

*BEST SOUND MIXING:

The Nominees: Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick for Inception, Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley for The King’s Speech, Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin for Salt, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten for The Social Network, and Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland for True Grit.

Who Should Win: The Social Network.

Who Will Win: The Social Network.

Dark Horse: Inception.

*BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE):

The Nominees: John Powell for How to Train Your Dragon, Hans Zimmer for Inception, Alexandre Desplat for The King’s Speech, A. R. Rahman for 127 Hours, and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for The Social Network.

Who Should Win: No question, Reznor and Ross should win for their brilliant work on The Social Network. That score undeniably helped shape the mood of that movie.

Who Will Win: It may be hard for Reznor and Ross to win for The Social Network because they are outsiders to the film score world, so it most likely will go to Desplat for The King’s Speech.

Dark Horse: Definitely don’t count out Reznor and Ross.

*BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

The Nominees: Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey for “Coming Home” from Country Strong, Alan Menken and Glenn Slater for “I See the Light” from Tangled A. R. Rahman, Dido and Rollo Armstrong for “If I Rise” from 127 Hours, and  Randy Newman for “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3.

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Beck for “Ramona” from Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.

Who Should Win: Randy Newman for “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3.

Who Will Win: Randy Newman for “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3.

Dark Horse: If someone is going to take it away from Newman, it’ll be the writers of “Coming Home” from Country Strong. Though country music had a good night recently at the Grammy’s with Lady Antebellum taking home a number of awards, I don’t think Oscar night looks good for “Red State music.”

*BEST ANIMATED SHORT:

The Nominees: Day & Night, The Gruffalo, Let’s Pollute, The Lost Thing, and Madagascar,  Journey Diary.

What Should Have Been Nominated: The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger, a well-made and quite hilarious Bill Plympton short.

What Should Win: If Day & Night doesn’t win, it will be highway robbery.  I absolutely loved Toy Story 3, but my favorite part of seeing Toy Story 3 was this short that played beforehand.

What Will Win: Day & Night.

Dark Horse: The Gruffalo was really great and had a number of big names doing the voices.  That kind of star power can sway voters.

*BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT:

The Nominees: The Confession, The Crush, God of Love, Na Wewe, and Wish 143.

What Should Win: Na Wewe.

What Will Win: Na Wewe.

Dark Horse: With these awards, anything could be the dark horse.

*BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT:

The Nominees: Killing in the Name, Poster Girl, Strangers No More, Sun Come Up, and The Warriors of Quigang.

What Should Win: Killing in the Name.

What Will Win: Killing in the Name.

Dark Horse: With these awards, anything could be the dark horse.

Written by Tyler Malone

Photography Courtesy of the Columbia Pictures

Design by Marie Havens

 

Captions:

The Social Network, 2010, Picture Courtesy of the Columbia Pictures and Allmoviephoto.com

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