Monday, February 21, 2011

Who will win at the Oscars? (2011 Oscar Predictions)

Oscars 2011

2010 was a great year for films. Plenty of notable films in different genres graced the cinemas around the world, there were not only the million dollars-making blockbusters such as “Toy Story 3”, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”, “Iron man 2” and “Inception”, also the thought-provoking , art-house releases like “Winter’s Bone”, “Blue Valentine” and “The kids are all right”. When the nominations for Oscars came out, I was delighted to see that most categories were filled with the names of truly deserving nominees.  As I happen to be someone with so much passion for films and someone who can never shut up when it comes to sharing opinions, allow me to make predictions of who should win and who will win at this year Oscars. So let’s take a look at the nominees.
Best motion picture of the year
Black Swan
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter's Bone

Out of 10 films being nominated this year, I have seen 8 of them except for “Toy Story 3” and “True Grit”.  Honestly, I’m not a big fan of “Inception” and although “The kids are all right” (Best Comedy Film winner at the Globes) is brilliantly made and superbly acted, the theme of the film is not enough to make the voters go gaga for it. So I personally think that it’s a race between “The King’s Speech” and “The social network”.  I like both films but I believe “The King’s Speech” will and SHOULD win the “Best picture” simply because “The Social Network” may very well be the hip new cocktail of the moment but “The King’s speech” is indeed the fine vintage French wine.  The academy voters will go for wine as they have always done in the past.  Historical films that previously won “Best Picture” include “Titanic”, “Braveheart”, “Lawrence of Arabia”, “Gandhi” and “A beautiful mind”.
Performance by an actor in a leading role
Javier Bardem (Biutiful)
Jeff Bridges (True Grit)
Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)
Colin Firth (The King's Speech)
James Franco (127 Hours)

Jeff Bridges won his Oscar last year and Javier Bardem, two years ago. They are not “Tom Hanks” or “Hilary Swank” so they will just have to be happy that they got nominated. On the other hand, Jesse Eisenberg and James Franco are still very young and they will have chances to shine in the years to come plus their respective performances are pretty light-weight. Have you ever seen Eisenberg off-camera? He’s just like the Zuckerberg character he played in the film. That means he pretty much played himself and won these rave reviews. Good but NOT Oscar-worthy. So that leaves Colin Firth who acts in each and every frame of “The King’s Speech” with such depth and mastery. If he didn’t win, that would be the biggest, I MEAN in all seriousness, the biggest upset in Oscar history.

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Christian Bale (The Fighter)
John Hawkes (Winter's Bone)
Jeremy Renner (
The Town)
Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right)
Geoffrey Rush (The King's Speech)

I have seen these five actors in their nominated roles and they are all equally good. My favorite is Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids are all right”. Geoffrey Rush is ALWAYS good but had already won once for “Shine” (1996). John Hawkes and Jeremy Renner are JUST okay, not enough screen time to really give jaw-dropping performances. Christian Bale has been sweeping up awards with this role (Globes, SAG, etc) so I’d put my money on him. Besides, he’s one of the industry heavy-weights and he will sure get some love from the voters. Oscars however can always surprise especially in the category like this. Remember “Alan Arkin’s “Little Miss Sunshine” win over Eddie Murphy’s “Dreamgirls”? Or Marisa Tomei’s scandalous victory in “My Cousin Vinny”???  Or Judi Dench’s 8-minute performance from “Shakespeare in love" that won her the gold in 1998??? SHOCKING!

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right)
Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole)
Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone)
Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
Michelle Williams (
Blue Valentine)

An amazing year for actresses as usual. So many great roles and so many soul-bearing performances but there will only be one winner and that is “Natalie Portman” for “Black Swan”. Why? First of all, her emotional delivery as the ballerina on edge is intense, candid and dramatic: a showy enough performance to take home the Oscar. Second of all, she’s one of the brightest young stars in Hollywood. Let me ask you one question. How many times dear old Meryl Streep sat and watched some young and pretty actress beat the shit out of her at the Oscars??? Sandra Bullock, Jodie Foster, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hilary Swank and Kate Winslet- Hello??? That means, the great Annette Bening will need Mr Warren Beatty to cry on his shoulder for they will surely go with young and crispy Natalie this year. And the other three, Kidman, Lawrence and Williams gave amazing performances too but this is JUST not the year for them. Just enjoy the gown they sent for free and strike your best pose on the red carpet, girls!!!!

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Amy Adams (The Fighter)
Helena Bonham Carter (The King's Speech)
Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)
Jacki Weaver (
Animal Kingdom)

I haven’t seen True Grit so I’m not sure whether the 14 year old Hailee Steinfeld(True Grit) deserves the award or not. Personally, I think it’s a battle between Melissa Leo (The Fighter) and the Aussie Jacki Weaver(Animal Kingdom). Funny thing here is that they both play evil mums and boy, they are sooo good at it. Melissa has lost her Oscar before to Kate Winslet in “The Reader” and she’s been a darling at various award shows this season for her white trash mum role in “The Fighter”. That indicates she’s the front runner. But like I said, surprises happen in this category. What if the voters go with the quirky Helena Bonham Carter for her role as the queen mum in The King’s Speech??? That’d be absolutely fun to watch.

Achievement in directing
Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)
David O Russell (The Fighter)
Tom Hooper (The King's Speech)
David Fincher (The Social Network)
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (True Grit)

I think Tom Hooper should win for the brilliantly-crafted “The King’s Speech”. Now THAT’s a movie. After watching the atrocious “The tourist”, “Burlesque”, “Gulliver’s travel” and “The Expendables”, I lost the will to watch movies but Tom Hooper single-handedly restored my faith in movies with “The King’s Speech”. For that and that alone- he SHOULD win.
Adapted screenplay
127 Hours - Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
The Social Network - Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3 - Michael Arndt (screenplay); John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich (story)
True Grit - Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Winter's Bone - Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

This is for “The Social Network”. It’s written all over it. 
Original screenplay
Another Year - Mike Leigh
The Fighter - Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson (screenplay); Keith Dorrington, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson (story)
Inception - 
Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right - Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg
The King's Speech - David Seidler

All great movies rely on a good script.  “The King’s Speech” will win.
Achievement in cinematography
Matthew Libatique (Black Swan)
Wally Pfister (Inception)
Danny Cohen (The King's Speech)
Jeff Cronenweth (The Social Network)
Roger Deakins (True Grit)

This is a tough category. My most favorite “127 hours” was not even nominated for cinematography. How ironic? I’m going to go with “The Social Network” because I still really can’t get over the stunning boat racing scene on the river Thames from the movie. Original and a true piece of art.
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (original score)
John Powell (How to Train Your Dragon)
Hans Zimmer (Inception)
Alexandre Desplat (The King's Speech)
AR Rahman (127 Hours)
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (The Social Network)

This is for “The social network” again. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s dark ambient music adorns the large part of that movie- it’s young, it’s cool, it’s fresh and it complements the movie’s theme. The winner, hands down!!!!!

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