25 January 2011

And The Nominee Is...

The Academy announced it's list of Oscar nominations early this morning. I wait all year for the Oscars. It's been a family tradition to sit around, nosh on nibbly bits, and yell in shock and excitement as they name the winners. Needless to say, it's been on my calendar for months! Below are all the nominees (best of luck to all!) as well as my predictions. Who do you think will win? Any major snubs?


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

No real surprises here. True Grit missed out on the Globes, but everyone agreed it would make the list here. I'm going to have to pick The Social Network to win. As much as I hate to think it, there doesn't seem to be any other logical choice. I'll hold final judgement for when the Producers and Directors Guild's name their winners. I'm still crossing my fingers for Inception! I also have to say, this year should have been the debut of the 10 nomination list. Look at all these really great films!

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

This was going to be a tough race for a nomination and I'm surprised Christopher Nolan missed the ticket until I remember he always misses. The best bet here is David Fincher and it's well deserved for a great film and equally distinguished career. The upset may be Aronofsky, but the Academy still skews older so it's unlikely.

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

Julia Roberts campaigning paid off and Javier Bardem won a nomination. Good for him. I haven't seen the picture yet, but I hear he is amazing. For me, it's between Colin Firth (already one up with the Globe) and Jeff Bridges (although he won last year, and the Academy doesn't award back to back that often). The surprise upset could be Franco who was superb and was on screen for the duration of his one man show.

Anette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

This is Portman's to lose really, and she certainly deserves to win it!

Christian Bale, The Fighter
John Hawks, Winter’s Bone
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right

A few surprises here. What's up John Hawks! I just loved him in Deadwood and You, Me, and Everyone We Know. He must have pushed out Andrew Garfield which is really too bad but he's young and has the opportunity to be back on this list in the future. My vote, and yours if you're smart, is for Bale.

Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Jackie Weaver, Animal Kingdom

Newcomer Hailee Steinfeld edged out Mila Kunis in one of the best decisions the Academy made this year. If you haven't seen True Grit go now! She is a knockout. Logic says Leo to win and I agree with that, though Steinfeld or Bonham Carter could upset.

127 Hours (Fox Searchlight), Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
The Social Network (Sony Pictures Releasing), Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3 (Walt Disney), Screenplay by Michael Arndt. Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
True Grit (Paramount), Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Winter’s Bone (Roadside Attractions), Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

If Aaron Sorkin doesn't win, something is wrong.

Another Year (Sony Pictures Classics), Written by Mike Leigh
The Fighter (Paramount), Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson. Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
Inception (Warner Bros.), Written by Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right (Focus Features), Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Company), Screenplay by David Seidler

This is always a tough category to call.... I'd love to see Inception win, but I fear I will become a broken record. That script is just so genius! This may be where The Kids Are All Right gets some love though.

In a Better World
Outside the Law

In a Better World won the Globe so I pick it here as well. I'd love to see Biutiful win as well.

How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3 or bust.

Black Swan (Fox Searchlight) Matthew Libatique
Inception (Warner Bros.) Wally Pfister
The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Company) Danny Cohen
The Social Network (Sony Pictures Releasing) Jeff Cronenweth
True Grit (Paramount) Roger Deakins

It's hard to think that Inception won't sweep the technical awards, and this is their first chance. So many of the effects where done in camera and the composition of shots is almost as important as the script or the acting for the film to have worked so well. Deakins is a legend and could upset, but I cross my fingers that is not the case.

Black Swan (Fox Searchlight) Andrew Weisblum
The Fighter (Paramount( Pamela Martin
The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Company) Tariq Anwar
127 Hours (Fox Searchlight) Jon Harris
The Social Network (Sony Pictures Releasing) Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

I'm kind of surprised Inception was not named here, but what are you gonna do? I vote for The Social Network to win. Really, as long as 127 Hours doesn't I really don't care. The cuts in that movie were distracting!

Exit through the Gift Shop (Producers Distribution Agency) Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz A Paranoid Pictures Production
Gasland Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic A Gasland Production
Inside Job (Sony Pictures Classics) Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs A Representational Pictures Production
Restrepo (National Geographic Entertainment) Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger An Outpost Films Production
Waste Land Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley (Arthouse Films) An Almega Projects Production

Tough call.... How awesome would it be if Exit Through the Gift Shop won? Otherwise, I vote Restrepo.

How to Train Your Dragon (Paramount) John Powell
Inception (Warner Bros.) Hans Zimmer
The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Company) Alexandre Desplat
127 Hours (Fox Searchlight) A.R. Rahman
The Social Network (Sony Pictures Releasing) Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Hans Zimmer made a haunting score for Inception, but I'm a bit surprised to see it nominated. While almost unrecognizable, he was very open about his use of pre-recorded music (namely Edith Piaf) that we wove into the score, altered, slowed down, or sampled. The Academy has looked down on this sort of thing in the past and are likely to do so again. Still, the 16 year old in me is freaking out at the thought that Trent Reznor could win an Oscar!

"Coming Home" from Country Strong (Sony Pictures Releasing (Screen Gems)) Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
"I See the Light" from Tangled (Walt Disney) Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
"If I Rise" from 127 Hours (Fox Searchlight) Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
"We Belong Together" from Toy Story 3 (Walt Disney) Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

I think I've the only person without a hard on for A.R. Rahman. Thank god he won last year so I'm not so worried. I will, however, be taking a bathroom break during the performance of this song. What does Indian/Bollywood music have to do with being stuck in a crevice, except that I would rather die there then have to listen to any more of it out of context? Globe winner Burlesque wasn't even nominated, so the field is wide open. I vote Randy Newman. Can you believe he's only won one Oscar?

Alice in Wonderland (Walt Disney) Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (Warner Bros.) Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
Hereafter (Warner Bros.) Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
Inception (Warner Bros.) Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
Iron Man 2 (Paramount and Marvel Entertainment, Distributed by Paramount) Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

Hmmmm..... How high brow will the Academy be? I think it's between Inception and Harry Potter. Alice could have made it, but anything in 3D automatically loses in my book.

Alice in Wonderland (Walt Disney), Robert Stromberg (Production Design), Karen O’Hara (Set Decoration)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (Warner Bros.), Stuart Craig (Production Design), Stephenie McMillan (Set Decoration)
Inception (Warner Bros.), Guy Hendrix Dyas (Production Design), Larry Dias and Doug Mowat (Set Decoration)/span>
The King’s Speech (Paramount), Eve Stewart (Production Design), Judy Farr (Set Decoration)
True Grit (Paramount), Jess Gonchor (Production Design), Nancy Haigh (Set Decoration)

This is a tough one. The Academy tends to award this prize to period pieces, so The King's Speech and True Grit are the forerunners here. It would be neat to see Inception win this as well (am I beginning to sound like a broken record yet?). Again, those sets where just fantastic!

Alice in Wonderland (Walt Disney) Colleen Atwood
I Am Love (Magnolia Pictures) Antonella Cannarozzi
The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Company) Jenny Beavan
The Tempest (Miramax) Sandy Powell
True Grit (Paramount) Mary Zophres

Lot's of good nominees here and past winners. I love Colleen Atwood always, and Sandy Powell is pretty spectacular as well. She just won a year ago, so this may be too soon for her to win again. Alice in Wonderland was ALL about the costumes though, so I hope it's Atwood. Look for Beavan to upset.
Barney's Version
The Way Back
The Wolfman

Off the top of my head, it seems like FX make-up rarely wins this award. Maybe I'm senile. So, I pick Barney's Vision to win. Any make-up that convinces us that Paul Giamatti could get wit Minnie Driver, Rachel LeFevre, and Rosamund Pike deserves to win.

Toy Story 3
Tron: Legacy
True Grit

These next two categories always seem to confuse people. Basically, Sound Editing is all about getting the final mix of sound, dialogue, foley (FX), etc, ready for the final mix. This includes recording additional dialogue (ADR) and background. Tron: Legacy and Inception are my front runners. Both had multiple tracks of music, dialogue, and FX to master.

The King's Speech
The Social Network
True Grit

Sound Mixing involves the process by which multiple tracks (for example, several parts of dialogue recorded both during the shoot and after, i.e. ADR) into one track. The levels must be made perfect so there is no discrepancy. This is the final result of all the sounds layered to create what we hear in the theatre. Again, I pick Inception though True Grit could also win here.

For the nominees in the short film and documentary categories, please seethe Academy Awards official site here.


  1. Best Film: Social Network

    Best Director: The safe bet would be Fincher, but I'm gonna go with Aronofsky.

    Actor: Eisenberg

    Actress: Portman, Portman, Portman.

    Supporting Actor: Haven't seen Fighter yet, but I'm gonna guess Bale (Glad to see John Hawkes get a nod for Winter's Bone! I'd be shocked if he won, though.)

    Adapted Screenplay: "If Aaron Sorkin doesn't win, something is wrong." Agreed!!!

  2. Wow, Eisenberg to win? That would definitely be shocking, but I think they're going to pull a Denzel- that is, reward the person that should have won the year before but was just edged out. See also: Getting Russel Crow'd