Monday 28 February 2011

Academy Awards Prediction Game

Best Picture

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

Winter's Bone was one of the most intense cinematic experiences I've had in a really long time, and it does probably win over some of the other movies here because it is the only one that I actually did see in the cinema. While I thought that the performances in The Social Network were genuinely good, the movie wasn't (this is also true for Black Swan, although it was a better movie over-all). The King's Speech would probably be a good candidate in case the Academy is looking for a compromise, and I wouldn't mind if True Grit won either (haven't seen The Fighter, 127 Hours or Toy Story 3). This is maybe also the right moment to mention that Inception didn't do anything for me, and mostly felt like a lot of wasted talent and potential.

Best Director

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

The Social Network and Black Swan are probably going to win either of those categories. The King's Speech surprised me. I wouldn't mind the Coens winning.

Best Actor

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

Is 127 Hours a movie that I should see? I haven't seen Biutiful. Jesse Eisenberg would actually deserve an Award for The Social Network, and I am just terribly biased against that movie. 

Best Actress

Annette 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 an impossible category. Jennifer Lawrence, Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams. I left Winter's Bone thinking that this was the performance of the year, but Michelle Williams is stunning in Blue Valentine (and deserves all the awards for Wendy and Lucy), and Natalie Portman IS Black Swan. Haven't seen Rabbit Hole, and while I thought that The Kids Are All Right was a good movie, Annette Benings character was a bit too overwritten for my taste (also, I went into this movie with High Art in the back of my head which was not a very good starting point).

Best Supporting Actor

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

With a bit of luck, this will be the one recognition Winter's Bone gets in a year that has so many grandiose movies. 

Best Supporting Actress

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

Haven't seen The Fighter or Animal Kingdom. It still disturbs me a little bit that Amy Adams used to be cousin Beth in one episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I wouldn't mind Helena Bonham Carter winning for a surprisingly subtle performance in The King's Speech (and how was Hailee Steinfeld's character  only SUPPORTING? It wouldn't have made the Best Actress category any easier but this just disregards her role in the movie entirely)

Best Animated Feature Film

How to Train Your Dragon
Toy Story 3

Haven't seen any of those. Mary and Max was the Best Animated Feature Film I saw this year but it technically came out last year? 

Best Foreign Film

Mexico - Biutiful
Greece - Dogtooth
Denmark - In a Better World
Canada - Incendies
Algeria - Outside the law

Kynodontas is the only film I've seen on this list but it was intense and shocking and relevant and thought-provoking and the best movie I saw all year (and it was up against Winter's Bone!). 

Best Original Screenplay

Another Year
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech

Best Adapted Screenplay

127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

There was this intense feeling in Winter's Bone that this was more like a Greek tragedy than anything else, and then I read Daniel Woodrell's novel and this is exactly the tone of it - something ancient, something that will be just as clear and close in 500 years or more.

Personal Preference

Also, I am not actually taking the Academy Awards very seriously.  

  • I found Anne Hathaways genuine enthusiasm adorable but the hosting this year wasn't that great. Along with the complete lack of surprises, it made for a boring show. 
  •  Best moment: The Dance of the Brown Duck.
  • I don't know why but I really started to resent the King's Speech. Immediately after watching it I thought it was a solid, enjoyable movie that did deserve recognition but compared to most of the movies it was up against, it was extremely conventional and harmless, and True Grit just stuck with me more. 
  • Colin Firth, however, is fantastic.  
  • I want to see an alternative version of the Awards in which the camera just stays on Helena Bonham Carter for the entire ceremony.
  • I really can't see Michelle Williams lose. Upsetting. And she brought Busy Phillips! 
  • Congratulations, Academy, Alice in Wonderland got more awards than Winter's Bone. 
  • I like The West Wing but I never, ever want to hear Aaron Sorkin speak again.  
  • What was up with Melissa Leo? 
  • I wish someone gave Sandra Bullock  a really good movie to star in. 
  • I guess Gwyneth Paltrow is singing now.
  • Great year to be male and white. 
  • Jeff Bridges presenting Best Actress was my favourite bit of the evening because it felt heartfelt. On the other hand it was really frustrating watching the Awards this year because it wasn't that much of a great year for movies, but there were some amazing female performances and I didn't feel like the Awards actually reflected that.

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