Saturday, September 11, 2010

Oscars Oscars Oscars

The Oscars seem to be on everybody's minds, from Luke at to Nathaniel at I thought I'd offer my two cents in more than just comment form for who I predict being nominated. These early predictions (no precursors!) are fun. Some may come true, most probably won't. That's the best thing about the pre-precursor season: nothing is set in stone. So be prepared for a lot of text and, without further ado, here they are:

Best Picture (ranked from most likely to least likely):
Toy Story 3
The Kids Are All Right
The Social Network
The King's Speech
(Tier one above, tier two below)
The Fighter
Black Swan
Love and Other Drugs
Never Let Me Go

We know Toy Story 3 is in if they let Up in last year. Inception I have reservations about, if only because better films may come along, but it definitely captured the zeitgeist this summer, and it is Christopher Nolan's "time." The Academy felt so bad about The Dark Knight snub that they made the field ten-wide. They aren't ignoring Nolan again. The Kids Are All Right has probably had "front-runner" status for awhile (live-action films category) and I don't see any reason why it would lose its heat. The Social Network has gotten very positive early buzz, and its director (David Fincher) has been quite the news item because of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo business. He's safe. The King's Speech is the definition of Oscar bait. Royals, Geoffrey Rush, a true story, and royals. Lots of royals. I've only heard positive things, so I think it can pull off a nomination in a ten-wide field (I mean, An Education did last year and that was certainly less bait-y.)
The Fighter depends on the reviews. With good/great reviews, then the topic (boxer! inspirational!) it's in. Black Swan is probably the most potentially polarizing film on this list, but with ardent supporters (which it seems to have, are they Academy members?) it could break through. Love and Other Drugs feels like that Chocolat nom. waiting to happen. Except Chocolat was in the top 5, so why can't Love and Other Drugs be in the top 10? Never Let Me Go is the film I actually might have the least faith in for Oscar love, but Somewhere also seems iffy, but for different reasons. I give Never Let Me Go the edge because of the cast and that haunting trailer.

Best Director
Christopher Nolan, Inception
David Fincher, The Social Network
David O. Russell, The Fighter
Mike Leigh, Another Year
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan

Nolan has the whole "it's his time," as does Aronofsky. Nolan is probably the safer bet because his film has been released, grossed close to $700 million, and permeated pop culture. Black Swan probably won't come anywhere near $700 million (ah, in a perfect world!), but Darren Aronofsky can't be denied this many times.. can he? David Fincher seems to be a no-brainer, but Mike Leigh and David O. Russell are more long shots. Mike Leigh has pulled off this feat before (Vera Drake) where he gets nominated but his film doesn't, and given the warm reception Another Year has received, he might be safer than the film itself. And David O. Russell soars or sinks based on the reviews of The Fighter. Positive, he's probably in, negative, he's probably out.

More predictions in the coming days. What are your thoughts on my predictions so far?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Catching Up

So remember that "most anticipated of 2010" list I made? Here's a round-up of the films I've seen, and the new order for "most anticipated" now that I have seen some of the films and my opinions have changed due to trailers, buzz, etc.

Eat Pray Love - B (Tied for number 10 on the former list) A solid Julia Roberts vehicle, but doesn't scratch the surface of the psychological problems and inner journey author Elizabeth Gilbert took to emerge a new woman.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World - A- (Number 9) A smart and eye-poppingly fresh take on a graphic novel I never had the fortune of reading. Cera is stellar as he tries to play against type as a womanizer, and the supporting cast (Culkin, Kendrick, etc.) is killer.Inception - B+ (Number 3) A big concept that isn't always as stable as Nolan would want it to be, but can't-miss-cinema nonetheless. Cotillard is radiant in her ever-growing niche of an abused wife, Mal.

The Kids Are All Right - A (Number 2) A film I went into with high expectations, and it didn't disappoint at all. Career best work from Annette Bening, Mark Ruffalo, and Josh Hutcherson. It treats what could have been trivial plot points with unmatched sincerity and originality.

And now to revise the list.. the previous list looked like:

10. Never Let Me Go / Eat, Pray, Love
9. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
8. My Own Love Song
7. How Do You Know
6. The Social Network
5. Burlesque
4. Rabbit Hole
3. Inception
2. The Kids Are All Right
1. Love and Other Drugs

And the new list looks like:

10. 127 Hours
9. Fair Game
8. How Do You Know
7. Somewhere
6. Burlesque
5. Love and Other Drugs
4. Rabbit Hole
3. Black Swan
2. The Social Network
1. Never Let Me Go

Agree or disagree? Sound off in the comments, please!