Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Second Hand Unwinds: Oscar Predictions For 2010

Excuse the near three-week absence from posting, but I've just started a new job and am thus busy adjusting to a sensibly alien sleeping pattern. I've decided to plug the gap between reviews (and there will be reviews; of starlets playing up to new surroundings, and conspiracies within the heart of Europe) by venturing back towards the familiar path of Oscar prognostication. It's still all harmless fun at this point, but Awards season is upon us, so this seems like as opportune a moment as any.

Best Picture

"127 Hours"
"Another Year"
"For Colored Girls..."
"The Kids Are All Right
"The King's Speech"
"Made in Dagenham"
"The Social Network"
"The Way Back"

Alternates: "The Fighter", "Toy Story 3", "Rabbit Hole"

"Inception" and "Toy Story 3" are popular, and got the fiscal ball rolling in 2010, but they still go against the grain of Oscar's general middle-brow gaze. I think that Nolan's film will probably have enough support to gain entry to the year's "top ten", but I'm not yet convinced that animated features will necessarily broach Best Picture regularly in an extended field. Why not "For Colored Girls..." then? A film about a repressed minority, with an all-star cast, and following on the coattails of last year's "Precious".

Best Director

Danny Boyle, "127 Hours"
David Fincher, "The Social Network"
Tom Hooper, "The King's Speech"
Mike Leigh, "Another Year"
Peter Weir, "The Way Back"

Alternates: Christopher Nolan, "Inception", Lisa Cholodenko, "The Kids Are All Right", The Coen Bros, "True Grit"

It appears foolhardy to forecast another snub for Nolan, but if he can get subbed for Stephen Daldry and Ron Howard in 2008, then it's at all possible he could miss out for just as dense a film this year, when the competition is stiffer.

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Annette Bening, "The Kids Are All Right"
Anne Hathaway, "Love and Other Drugs"
Diane Lane, "Secretariat"
Lesley Manville, "Another Year"
Julianne Moore, "The Kids Are All Right"

Alternates: Natalie Portman, "Black Swan", Hilary Swank, "Conviction", Jennifer Lawrence, "Winter's Bone"

A mixture of the prolific, reputable, burgeoning, and one-time-only nominees that often occurs in this category. Natalie Portman is brilliant in "Black Swan", but it's dark and her character has serious issues with sexuality that are bound to put off certainly the stauncher Academy members. I'd be very sad to see Sally Hawkins ousted from the lineup for another Hathaway/downtrodden rural American double-team, but she's only likely to get in if the film is BIG. Even if Julianne Moore is campaigned as Supporting in Kids, I think a lead nomination is a very legitimate outcome, given that maybe a vote for one automatically pertains to include the other?

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Javier Bardem, "Biutiful"
Colin Firth, "The King's Speech"
James Franco, "127 Hours"
Ryan Gosling, "Blue Valentine"
Mark Wahlberg, "The Fighter"

Alternates: Robert Duvall, "Get Low", Jeff Bridges, "True Grit", Paul Giamatti, "Barney's Version"

I'm betting that at least 40-80% of these have death scenes, which always appears to be a plus in the Best Actor category. Ryan Gosling has the luxury (?) of another December release, while the others all have personal obstacles to overcome. If this is the five, and nobody really trumps the critics, then does Mark Wahlberg have a shot at glory?

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Helena Bonham Carter, "The King's Speech"
Kimberly Elise, "For Colored Girls..."
Miranda Richardson, "Made in Dagenham"
Saoirse Ronan, "The Way Back"
Jacki Weaver, "Animal Kingdom"

Alternates: Dianne Wiest, "Rabbit Hole", Whoopi Goldberg, "For Colored Girls...", Lesley Manville, "Another Year"

Having just seen Richardson's turn in Daggers, I'm not on board with a nomination. It's showboating of the most flagrant order, which is why Oscar might bite. Ronan already has one nomination and was dangerously poised last year to take over from faltering hopefuls. I'm thinking that "For Colored Girls..." will surely land a Supp Actress nominee, but who?

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Christian Bale, "The Fighter"
Ed Harris, "The Way Back"
Mark Ruffalo, "The Kids Are All Right"
Geoffrey Rush, "The King's Speech"
John Hawkes, "Winter's Bone"

Alternate: Andrew Garfield, "The Social Network", Sam Rockwell, "Conviction", Colin Farrell, "The Way Back"

Hawkes seems like a long shot, but if we're wading for contenders the likelihood of him landing up on critics lineups etc. is not that slim. Harris and Rush are strong supporting players who AMPAS already likes; Ruffalo stronger if you ask me, but so far shunned.

Best Original Screenplay

"Another Year"
"The Kids Are All Right"
"The King's Speech"
"Made In Dagenham"

Alternate: "The Fighter"

Best Adapted Screenplay

"127 Hours"
"For Colored Girls..."
"The Social Network"
"Thw Way Back"
"Winter's Bone"

Alternate: "Love and Other Drugs"


Dempsey Sanders said...

looking forward to the oscars. I'm hoping Inception for best picture, but I think it might loose out. Also love Ryan Goslings performance, but I also think it could be Mark Whalbergs year. It will be a good show

Plex said...

Great post - tried to leave a comment, but not sure if it landed properly. I'm at with a similar stab at Oscar...