Monday, January 23, 2012

2011 OSCAR NOMINEES PREDICTIONS: MY FINAL PREDICTIONS BEFORE THE NOMINEES ARE ANNOUNCES (WHICH IS ALSO WHEN WE FIND OUT JUST HOW WRONG MY PREDICTIONS WERE!)



I'll be posting my movie reviews later this week, but for the time being they're delayed as the Oscar announcement will be Tuesday morning, and it's time for me to make my final projections on who will get nominated. For those who follow my twitter, it will come to no surprise to them that I have been following all the other Awards and nominations that have been anounced and handed out, hoping to see who will get nominated. I would prefer to have watched all the movies by now, instead, but it'll have to do. For most of the Awards, I've written out long lists of all those who seem like possible nominees, people who've been nominated for other awards this year for instance, but there is always a possibility that the Academy might go somewhere completely different in one or many of these categories. It's not unprecedent, the Academy members do have minds of their own, unfortunately. That's a long way for me to tell everyone that, I could just as easily be dead wrong on all these picks, and probably am. But its fun to see if I can get one or two categories right. So, my two cents, and here's the tea leaves I'm about to read. Lets start with the big one and go down this time.

BEST PICTURE
Last year, I actually did predict all ten! It was also fairly easy to predict it, everybody had pretty much narrowed the possibilities to 11. Anyway, this year it's incredibly tricky. The rules been changed so that nobody knows exactly how many films will get nominated, it'll be between 5 and 10 films, and how to determine this is through the voting process in a manner that long, boring and hard to explain. So, this'll be by far, the toughest category to project the nominees, but there's a few ones that are definitely in. "The Artist",
"The Descendants", "Hugo," and "Midnight in Paris" have been nominated by practically every award show so far, they're sure-fire Best Picture nominees. After that it's a little tricky.

NOMINEES PREDICTION
"The Artist"
"The Descendants"
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
"The Help"
"Hugo"
"Midnight in Paris"
"Moneyball"
"The Tree of Life"

IF THERE'S MORE, THAN THEY'LL BE...
"War Horse"
"Drive"

I think the top eight are gonna get in. I'm not 100% positive on any of the other four, but I'm sure enough. The least likely of those is "The Tree of Life", probably the film that has divided people the most, but I think it's getting in. "The Help," also seems to be constantly sneaking into most Best Picture Awards and considerations, but I wouldn't be shocked if it's left off either. "Moneyball," is stronger in other in other categories, but in the end, it'll get in. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," has made the biggest jump in recent weeks. It wasn't considered a major candidate for this category, but David Fincher got a very surprising DGA nomination, which caught a lot of people off-guard, plus it's been getting nomination from other groups as well.  So, I'm predicting 8 nominations for Best Picture. Although "War Horse," getting in wouldn't shock me, but it went from being almost guarantee nomination, to barely making my long ballot. If there's 9, then it gets in, and 10 I think "Drive," could get the tenth nomination.

OTHER POSSIBLES
The Ides of March
Bridesmaids
Melancholia
A Separation
Beginners
J. Edgar
Albert Nobbs
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Take Shelter
Margin Call
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Shame
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

I wouldn't be shocked by any of these films showing up either. "The Ides of March," "Bridesmaids," Melancholia," and "A Separation," being the most likely to spoil here. "The Ides of March," and "Bridesmaids" are gaining momentum, getting more than a few surprise Best Picture nominations at other prominent Awards. ("Bridesmaids," getting a PGA [Producer's Guild Awards] nomination, surprised a lot of people) "Melancholia," is an interesting film. Hypothetically, it could sneak into quite a few categories. It's done well at Award shows, everywhere, but America pretty much. So that one is an outside possibility. So is the Iranian film "A Separation," which is pretty much a surefire Best Foreign Language Film nominee, but it's been awhile since an entire foreign-language film has been nominated, so it's a longshot at best. ("Slumdog Millionaire," was just barely an predominately English Language film).

BEST DIRECTOR
The same four that are all-but-assured Best Picture noms, are basically guaranteed Best Director. The fifth nominee is up for grabs. It has clearly been the most erratic and ever-changing nomination spot from Award show to Award show.

NOMINEES PREDICTION
Woody Allen-"Midnight in Paris"
Michel Hazanavicius-"The Artist"
Terence Malick-"The Tree of Life"
Alexander Payne-"The Descendants"
Martin Scorsese-"Hugo"

I am gonna go down, tilting at this damn windmill forever, but maybe it's personal blinders, but I can't fathom a way in which Terence Malick doesn't sneak into this category, despite every sign pointing to somebody else getting it. The other four are safely nominated; I would be blown away if one of them wasn't nominated. Personally, I fear Malick not getting in, but I can't force myself to see another name getting it over Malick, so there you go.

OTHER POSSIBLES
David Fincher-“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
Steven Spielberg-“War Horse”
Nicolas Winding Refn-“Drive”
George Clooney-“The Ides of March”
Bennett Miller-“Moneyball”
Tomas Anderson-“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
Lynne Ramsey-“We Need to Talk About Kevin”
Steven Daldry-“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
Lars von Trier-“Melancholia”
Clint Eastwood-“J. Edgar”
Tate Taylor-“The Help”
Steve McQueen-“Shame”
Asghar Farhadi-“A Separation”

If I have to guess, based on the DGA nominee, and recent Oscar past, Fincher might get in. After that, Spielberg's a possibility, Nicolas Winding Refn's a possibility, but "Drive," has fallen off more than "War Horse," even. Everytime I've counted out Steven Daldry (Which has basically been every time), he's gotten nominated, although I think that's still a longshot. Tate Taylor, for "The Help," is a big maybe, although his name hasn't been showing up anywhere near any Best Director awards. I can't completely count any of these names out, so don't be surprised by any of them.

BEST ACTOR
I don't know what it is with this category, but I see only three guaranteed nominations, and I'm completely baffled on who's getting the fourth and fifth. Clooney, Dujardin, and Pitt, are all guaranteed nominees to me. After that, it could really be almost anybody. I'm still thinking that one of the nominees might be completely off my own board. I think I got every probable option here, but it sure feels like someone is missing here.

NOMINEE PREDICTIONS
Demian Bichir-"A Better Life"
George Clooney-"The Descendants"
Jean Dujardin-"The Artist"
Michael Fassbender-"Shame"
Brad Pitt-"Moneyball"

I don't quite know how that just happened, but I typed in Demian Bichir's name. "A Better Life," is a very small Indy feature, that earned him both a Spirit Award nomination, and a very surprising SAG nomination so far. I was trying to type in Leonardo DiCaprio for "J. Edgar," but something was stopping me. "J. Edgar," hasn't been particularly popular, but he's been getting nominated for it, yet something has never felt permanent about his name showing up. I wasn't sure about Fassbender either, but after his BAFTA nomination, I think that puts him in. I haven't seen the movie yet, can't really judge or explain or project, but something just tells me that he might be the strange name I'm missing here.

OTHER POSSIBLES
Leonardo Dicaprio-“J. Edgar”
Gary Oldman-“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
Michael Shannon-“Take Shelter”
Ryan Gosling-“Drive”
Ryan Gosling-“The Ides of March”
Brendan Glesson-“The Guard”
Owen Wilson-“Midnight in Paris”
Joseph Gordon-Levitt-“50/50”
Woody Harrelson-“Rampart”

For a while, I still though Michael Shannon might be the name that snuck in, but practically every Award show for the last two months has avoided him. Ryan Gosling suffers from a split vote, (An actor can only be nominated for one film in one category) and I don't see enough people singling out one over the other, and over the other candidates to nominate him this year. Gary Oldman might get it too. He's never been nominated, and the BAFTAs loved "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," although most American Awards have been ignoring it in most categories. The rest are long, longshots, but I can't eliminate them completely.

BEST ACTRESS
This is another category where the fifth nomination can come from anywhere. Viola Davis, Meryl Streep, and Michelle Williams, are all walking into nominations here, and Tilda Swinton has become a frontrunner as well. The BAFTAs also through a curveball into the category by nominating Berenice Bejo as Lead Actress, when every other Award show 'til now, has had her in Supporting Actress. She's a shoe-in to get nominated, but now the question is which category. (The rule states that if a performer gets vote for the same performance in both Lead and Supporting categories, than the category that got the most votes gets the nomination) The BAFTAs have done this before. A couple years ago, Kate Winslet was winning Supporting Actress for "The Reader," at most awards shows (Partly because there was a push to nominate her for lead actress for "Revolutionary Road") and the BAFTAs put her in the lead category, and the Oscars surprised everybody by following suit. (Winslet won that Oscar for "The Reader")

NOMINEE PREDICTIONS
Viola Davis-"The Help"
Rooney Mara-"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
Meryl Streep-"The Iron Lady"
Tilda Swinton-"We Need to Talk About Kevin"
Michelle Williams-"My Week with Marilyn"

I can see about seven or eight different names actually sneaking in and getting a nomination, but based on how well "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," has suddenly been doing, I think it's a fair guess that Rooney Mara is the one that's gonna steal that fifth nomination, especially if it gets a Best Picture, which I think it will. I didn't think it about a month, but I mentioned that that film had one of the biggest opportunities for a push, and man, I think it's gotten the biggest one so far.

OTHER POSSIBLES
Glenn Close-“Albert Nobbs”
Mia Wasikowska-“Jane Eyre”
Elizabeth Olsen-“Martha Marcy May Marlene”
Charlize Theron-“Young Adult”
Kirsten Dunst-“Melancholia”
Berenice Bejo-“The Artist”
Vera Farmiga-“Higher Ground”
Anna Paquin-“Margaret”

Adepero Oduye-“Pariah”
Jodie Foster-“Carnage”
Kate Winslet-“Carnage”
Kristen Wiig-“Bridesmaids”

If it isn't Rooney Mara getting in, it'll probably be Glenn Close, but I'm skeptical, despite many important nominations she's been getting. Kirsten Dunst, is an interesting one here, Foreign Awards have been remembering her in "Melancholia," I think it's more likely than some think. I think ultimately Bejo will land in Supporting, but she might steal it too. I think Mia Wasikowska for "Jane Eyre," is still in some of the Academy's minds as well. This'll be a close fifth nomination vote.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
I think there's some possibilities for one or two people outside of the top five to get in, but this category looks locked up to me. At pretty much every Award show, at least four of these names have been nominated when they were eligible.

NOMINEE PREDICTIONS
Kenneth Branagh-"My Week with Marilyn"
Albert Brooks-"Drive"
Jonah Hill-"Moneyball"
Nick Nolte-"Warrior"
Christopher Plummer-"Beginners"

They oddly enough haven't all shown up at once until now, but most of them have always been there. Branagh, Brooks and Plummer have split the Awards, although Plummer is taking most of them. I think Jonah Hill might be the one that could be left off, but it's not looking like it.

OTHER POSSIBLES
Brad Pitt-“The Tree of Life”
Patton Oswalt-“Young Adult”
Andy Serkis-“Rise of the Planet of the Apes
John Hawkes-“Martha Marcy May Marlene
Armie Hammer-“J. Edgar”
Viggo Mortensen-“A Dangerous Method”
Corey Stoll-“Midnight in Paris”
Tom Hardy-“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
Benedict Cumberbatch-“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
Jim Broadbent-“The Iron Lady”
Philip Seymour Hoffman-“The Ides of March”

If somebody isn't on there, I wouldn't be shocked if Brad Pitt gets in for "The Tree of Life," making him a double nominee. It's not really likely, but I think that's more likely than people think. I think a certain amount of his "Moneyball," vote, is also for "Tree of Life," there might be a double nominee there. There's some worthy possibilities here, but it just doesn't seem like somebody else can get in. The Top five look set to me; I'll be shocked if I got any of these names wrong.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
I'm having the hardest time trying to figure out which film Jessica Chastain is gonna get in this category. I think "The Help," is the likeliest, but it's split with "The Tree of Life," and "Take Shelter," and her co-star Octavia Spencer, not only looks like a lock, along with Berenice Bejo and Melissa McCarthy, but she might be the favorite to win, and I'm just not sold everybody likes "The Help," that much.

NOMINEE PREDICTIONS
Berenice Bejo-"The Artist"
Melissa McCarthy-"Bridesmaids"
Janet McTeer-"Albert Nobbs"
Octavia Spencer-"The Help"
Shailene Woodley-"The Descendants"

I've been looking around thinking Shailene Woodley was going to be the name that gets many nominations before falling off the ballot, but now I think it's going to be Jessica Chastain, be unfortunately punished for being good in too many movies. This will sneak Janet McTeer in. I don't think "The Help," is getting a two spots in the category.

Jessica Chastain-“The Help”
Carey Mulligan-“Shame”
Judy Greer-“The Descendants”
Jessica Chastain-“The Tree of Life”
Jessica Chastain-“Take Shelter”
Anjelica Huston-“50/50”
Elle Fanning-“Super 8”
Rachel McAdams-“Midnight in Paris”
Marion Cotillard-“Midnight in Paris”
Vanessa Redgrave-“Coriolanus”
Judi Dench-“My Week with Marilyn”
Carey Mulligan-“Drive”

Carey Mulligan is also suffering from two performances. It looked she was getting in for "Shame," for a while, but she didn't get a BAFTA which I thought would propel her for that film. She did, surprisingly get the BAFTA for "Drive," however. That just made it less likely she'd get nominated here. I'm still personally holding out hope that Judy Greer will get in for "The Descendants", but I think ultimately, it's going to suffer for being too small a role.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
I didn't talk about this category yet, but I'm going through all of them this time. It looks like this category is going to Woody Allen, that's a given, and Michel Hazanvicius is getting nominated, but after that, it's a little tricky. The WGA awards don't always coincide here, and there's usually one or two surprises here.

NOMINEE PREDICTIONS
50/50-Will Reiser
The Artist-Michel Hazanavicius
Midnight in Paris-Woody Allen
A Separation-Asghar Farhadi
Young Adult-Diablo Cody

I've been thinking up 'til now that "50/50" won't sneak in here, but it seems to be the most consistently nominated other than "Midnight in Paris". "The Artist," didn't get a WGA nomination, which is the most peculiar of misses for the film that seems to be winning everything up 'til now. I have a hard time imagining it not sneaking in to this category.  I also think "Young Adult," will get the nomination here, while it'll just fall short in the acting categories. I'm throwing in "A Separation," here too, as a hunch. Well-respected foreign films have a way of sneaking into the writing categories. If it's got a shot of something outside of Foreign Language Film, it's here.

OTHER POSSIBLES
The Tree of Life-Terence Malick
Margin Call-J.C. Chandor
Bridesmaids-Annie Mumolo, Kristen Wiig
The Guard-John Michael McDonagh
Win Win-Tom McCarthy, Story by Tom McCarthy & Joe Tiboni
Martha Marcy May Marlene-Sean Durkin
Beginners-Mike Mills
Melancholia-Lars von Trier
Shame-Steve McQueen & Abi Morgan
Margaret-Kenneth Lonergan
The Iron Lady-Abi Morgan
Another Earth-Brit Marling, Mike Cahill
Terri-Patrick and Azazel Jacobs
Cedar Rapids-Phil Johnston

It's hard for me to say that "The Tree of Life," isn't going to make it here, but I think it's got better chances in other categories, and they're gonna find room for something else. "Win Win," has been getting a lot of nominations in this category, deservedly so, that can sneak in, and I was very close to putting "Margin Call," into the category. "Bridesmaids," is the trendy pick to get in here, I think it's ultimately gonna fall short, although popular comedies do have a way of getting in here, usually it only happens when it's the only nomination it's getting, and with Melissa McCarthy now a very likely nominee, I don't see that here. Don't be shocked by "The Guard," or "Margaret," either. I'm not at all sure of this category.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
There's seems less likely possible nominees to choose from in this category compared to original, but there's a few guaranteed ones. Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash seem the likely winners for "The Descendants", although Payne won for "Sideways," years ago. Aaron Sorkin and Steve Zaillian's work on "Moneyball," is also practically a nomination lock.

NOMINEE PREDICTIONS
The Descendants-Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash
Hugo-John Logan
The Ides of March-George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon
Moneyball-Steve Zaillion and Aaron Sorkin
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy-Bridget O'Connor, Peter Straughan

Wow! I don't think I've seen a year where there's so little correlation between what I project to be Best Picture nominees and the Best Screenlay nominees, especially since they started changing the number of Best Picture nominees. Because Zaillion's getting a likely nomination for "Moneyball," I don't think "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," is sneaking in here. "The Ides of March," and George Clooney need to be honored somewhere, I think it'll be here, and the same for "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy", which is probably going to get the annual Mike Leigh vote in the writing category.

OTHER POSSIBLES

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo-Steve Zaillian

We Need to Talk About Kevin-Lynne Ramsay & Rory Kinnear
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close-Eric Roth
Drive-Hossein Amini
Albert Nobbs-Glenn Close and John Banville
War Horse-Lee Hall and Richard Curtis
The Adventures of Tintin-Steven Moffat, Joe Cornish & Edgar Wright
Submarine-Richard Ayoade

"The Help," and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," got WGA nominations, so they're probably the most likely to make me wrong with this category. I wouldn't be shocked here if "We Need to Talk About Kevin," snuck in here too, but I think that's a longshot. The Academy has also never been particularly kind to Richard Curtis, and recently Eric Roth, even when nominated seems to be controversially so.

ANIMATED FEATURE
There are 18 films up for Animated Feature this year, which means that five will be nominated this year, (9 in a year=3 nominees, 15=five) this will be only the third time that's happened. Last time, they through in a couple few surprises that hardly anybody heard of, (aka "The Secret of Kells"?) so don't just expect the Disney and Pixar ones to show up. There's two that are guaranteed, that "Tintin," and "Rango," after that, we're guessing a bit.

NOMINEE PREDICTIONS
The Adventures of Tintin
Cars 2
Chico & Rita
Puss in Boots
Rango

I was debating between "Puss in Boots" and "Kung Fu Panda 2", for the fifth nominee, it could be either one of those. I've heard about "Chico & Rita," which is popular in Europe, that probably can sneak in. Really am guessing with the rest here though. It's either gonna be "The Adventures of Tintin," or "Rango," winning, and after that, the nomination is the prize.

OTHER POSSIBLES
Arthur Christmas
Kung Fu Panda 2
Alois Nebel
Wrinkles
Winnie-the-Pooh
A Cat in Paris
Rio
Gnomeo & Juliet
Happy Feet Two
Hoodwinked Too: Hood vs. Evil
The Smurfs
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
Mars Need Moms

These are all the other ones eligible, so the nominees will definitely come out of this group, and I tried to list them from most likely to least likely to get nominated, by my guess anyway. If the Chipmunks get nominated, don't be surprised if its the last time they have the category.

BEST DOCUMENTARY
They narrow this category to a final 15 nominees every year, and already it's the become the most controversial category this year, by a mile. Multiple films by major documentary films and filmmakers, including two by Werner Herzog ("Cave of Forgotten Dreams" and "Into the Abyss" ), and Steve James's film "The Interrupters," which has a 99 mark on rottentomatoes.com, didn't make the short list. (Steve James's lack of a nomination is particularly noteworthy. When his 1994 film "Hoop Dreams," didn't get a nomination, the resulting scandal which involved evidence that the Documentary Branch of the Academy was walking out of the screening lead the Academy to entirely rewrite the parameters for the category) They've already announced changes for next year, which are already under scrutiny for other reasons, but nonetheless, it's become clear this category will be remember this year for what's not nominated as oppose to what is.

NOMINEE PREDICTIONS
Bill Cunningham New York
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
Pina
Project Nim

I hope they at least pick the best of the rest here. Wim Wenders's "Pina," is eligible (It's also on the short list for Foreign Language film) and he's one of the greatest filmmakers alive, and it'd be nice to see him win it, if nothing else. I'm fairly certain "Pina," "Project Nim," and "Bill Cunningham New York," are lock nominees, but in this category, who knows.

OTHER POSSIBLES
Buck
Jane's Journey
Hell and Back Again
Under Fire: Journalists in Combat
The Loving Story
We Were Here
Battle for Brooklyn
Undefeated
Semper Fi: Always Faithful
Sing Your Song

I tried putting these in the same order as the Animated feature, from most likely to least likely, but this category been beyond unpredictable already.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The Foriegn Language Film shortlist is down to nine right now. (Making it fantastically easier to predict, hopefully, I know I'll get at least one right!) It's a strange Award actually. Only one film eligible per country, which makes for some intriguing decisions by the country which puts up it's nominee. This year, Belgium decided to not choose the Dardenne Brothers "The Kid and the Bike," which is not only from their most famous filmmakers, but also a film that won many Awards already, and went with a film called "Bullhead," instead. "The Kid and the Bike" is eligible in other categories if it got a U.S. theatrical release in the year, so that's led to some occasions where some foreign film that weren't nominated get honored in other categories. "The Motorcycle Diaries," "Talk to Her," "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," "I Am Love," and "La Vie En Rose," have had that happen to them in recent years.

NOMINEE PREDICTIONS
Bullhead (Belgium)
Footnote (Israel)
In Darkness (Poland)
Pina (Germany)
A Separation (Iran)

"A Separation," looks like the sure-fire winner here, although some sure-fire winners have lost in this category in recent years, including "Pan's Labyrinth," "Waltz with Bashir," and last year, "Biutiful". However, it looks pretty safe. Maybe "Pina," can be the first film to win both Best Documentary and Best Foreign Film, but that seems unlikely, "A Separation," looks like the film to beat, and nobody looks close to beating it right now.

OTHER POSSIBLES
Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale (Taiwan)
Omar Killed Me (Morocco)
Monsieur Lazhar (Canada)
Superclasico (Denmark)

Well, there's a lot more categories I could take a closer look at, but I think I've covered most of the main ones. I'll make predictions on winners for every category before Oscar night. After Tuesday afternoon, we'll know who will be nominated, and we'll also find out just how badly I predicted this year. Check back at the blog Tuesday night, I'll have my own analysis of how well I predicted (Probably not good), and some thoughts and rundowns on those who actually do get nominated.

The Help-Tate Taylor
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