Wednesday, January 26, 2011
A Latest Issue Academy Awards Preview
What will win: The King's Speech was the Critic's choice winner, and had amazing dialogue. While the story was a bit cliched, it should be enough to take top honors here.
What SHOULD win: Inception's epic mind fuck should have left more of an impact, but a highly criticized final act hurts their chances. Of the titles listed, I have to think The Kids are All Right is the best choice on originality alone.
What was snubbed: How Black Swan was overlooked shocks and confounds me, as it would have been my favorite had it made the cut.
What will win: The Social Network, no surprise here.
What SHOULD win: Honestly, The Social Network is probably the strongest in the field. Grit and Bone would have been closest, but had their faults.
"What the Frak" moment: I'm honestly not sure how Toy Story 3 manages to be an ADAPTED screenplay. Can anyone explain this to me? I've got no issue with the film's nomination ITSELF, but the rules for "adapted" are difficult to pin down.
What will win: While In a Better World was the Golden Globe winner in this category, Javier Bardem's star power will probably put Biutiful over the top.
What SHOULD win, and honestly should have AT LEAST been nominated: Sweden's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo won the Critic's Choice award for this category and as one of my favorite films from 2010 this particular snub is pretty insulting, though in line with Hollywood rushing out their own version later this year. I guess they didn't want any blatant reminders.
What will win: Toy Story 3
What SHOULD... oh, who am I kidding here? While Dragon was a good time and The Illusionist has an Oscar pedigree, anyone betting against the billion dollar-grossing film can safely be written off.
Who will win: Leo is the favorite, having won the Golden Globe and Critic's Choice awards in the same category. Leo should have no problem taking the prize, as this year honestly does not harbor the strongest batch of hopefuls.
Who SHOULD win: ...with the exception of Adams, who in my opinion was the soul of The Fighter and simply amazing. It's the final round, but Adams might have enough for a last second KO.
Who was snubbed: It wasn't REALLY a snub, as Mila Kunis's performance as a rival ballerina in Black Swan was perhaps a bit overstated. I wouldn't have minded if she made the cut, but I'm not sorry she's not there either.
Wild Card: With Adams and Leo splitting votes, it's certainly possible they might cancel one another out, allowing Steinfeld or Bonham Carter to walk away with a surprise, their first Academy Award
Who will win, and SHOULD: Bale has never before been recognized by the Academy for his work, but with his outstanding portrayal of former boxer and drug addict "Dicky" Ward and despite strong competition opposite him, here is your 2011 Best Supporting Actor.
Who shouldn't be here: Ruffalo was fine in Kids, but just like his parent film, Ruffalo is overrated in what was a good performance in a good movie, nothing more. The Social Network's Andrew Garfield had a much better performance in a somewhat better movie, but his youth relegated him to the next tier to allow the veteran Ruffalo to advance.
Who should soak up the moment: John Hawkes has been a character actor for years, never getting much recognition for his work. But with his character in Bone, the meth-addicted Teardrop, Hawkes earned his place among men who would have been favorites in other years. Despite great work by Rush and Renner in their respective roles, Hawkes had my second-favorite supporting performance of the year, behind only Bale.
Who will win: Despite what I think was a directing approach as arrogant as the people he was making the film about, Fincher's direction of the "Facebook film" will probably take this award.
Who SHOULD win: Aronofsky wasn't even NOMINATED for his last movie, The Wrestler. A nomination here is a step in the right direction, but a win would be well deserved for what was indeed the pinnacle of 2010's art house films.
Who was snubbed: The Town got snubbed in a lot of categories, but perhaps most notable was director Ben Affleck's absence in the Best Director roster. He certainly deserved a nom over Fincher, maybe even Russell. Also 127 Hours's Danny Boyle is too big a name at this juncture to simply ignore, as was apparently the case here.
Who will win: Though there's a lot of talent on this roster, Portman's mentally-affected ballerina is the most likely, and the most deserving, to win this year's prize.
Tight Race: Kidman would be a lock in a lesser year, and Williams and Lawrence are much deserving for their indie film roles, but not one of them was Portman's equal in 2010.
Who was snubbed: Though some will argue that Julianne Moore should have been nominated over her Kids co-star, I think both should have been sidelined to make room for Noomi Rapace, whose Lisbeth Salander in Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was by far the most memorable female role... scratch that, MOST MEMORABLE ROLE all year. As a side note, no complaints would have been made if Love and Other Drugs's Anne Hathaway had made the cut.
Who will win: It's being pitched as a repeat of last year, with Grit's Bridges and Speech's Firth the runaway favorites, but I believe it's less complicated than even that. While his role in The King's Speech might not have been as commanding as that of his role in 2009's A Single Man, Firth should walk away from the stage with a Best Actor award in his hands. And he'll have deserved it.
Who was snubbed: While I haven't seen 127 Hours and so can't really discredit Franco's nomination, I would have much rather seen Ryan Gosling get a nod as Blue Valentine's blue collar romantic. The Fighter's Mark Wahlberg was also overlooked, though as a character he was far overshadowed by the talent surrounding him. And while Robert Duvall got a lot of Oscar press for his role in Get Low, it wasn't enough to beat Eisenberg to the final five. Finally, Aaron Eckart's mourning father in Rabbit Hole might have been a long shot to make it, but should be recognized all the same.
Who I could have done without: Franco. Okay, I know I haven't seen the film yet, but I'm just not a Franco fan. Maybe it's better than I imagine, but we'll see. Either way, with the talent that was overlooked I would have been happy to see him and the talented-but-young Eisenberg not make the cut.
What will win: The Social Network is the favorite to take it all, but the talent at the top is enough that there might be upset potential. That's good since Fincher's film, while quite good and socially relevant, wasn't even the tenth best movie I saw in 2010.
Wha5 SHOULD win: The Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, and The King's Speech were the only films in my Top 10 List for 2010 that were nominated for Best Picture. Of those, Aronofsky's Black Swan was by far the best of the bunch and it would be amazing if it somehow managed to snatch a victory here.
Who was snubbed: Sadly a number of films didn't make the cut that perhaps should have, including Blue Valentine, Rabbit Hole and The Town, all of which were notable contenders. Blue Valentine especially was a depressing miss, as it was my second favorite film last year.
That's it! The 2011 Academy Awards dissected, predicted, perforated and criticized. Do you disagree with my pics or did I miss anything? Comments are always welcome and I'm looking forward to that night when the Oscars are handed out and we see just how right our predictions will be. Until then, we can only watch more.