The Playground of Hollywood

The Playground of Hollywood

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

2010 OSCAR NOMINATIONS (& how I did predicting)

Total, out of 106 nominations, I got 80 correct, and if you include my alternate choices, I nailed 99/106!

Here are the 2010 Academy Award Nominations.......

BEST PICTURE -- 9/10
  • 127 Hours (alternate)
  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • The King's Speech
  • The Social Network
  • Toy Story 3
  • True Grit
  • Winter's Bone

BEST DIRECTOR -- 4/5

  • Darren Aronofsky "Black Swan"
  • Joel Coen & Ethan Coen "True Grit"
  • David Fincher "The Social Network"
  • Tom Hooper "The King's Speech"
  • David O. Russell "The Fighter" (alternate)

BEST ACTOR -- 4/5

  • Javier Bardem "Biutiful" (alternate)
  • Jeff Bridges "True Grit"
  • Jesse Eisenberg "The Social Network"
  • Colin Firth "The King's Speech"
  • James Franco "127 Hours"

BEST ACTRESS -- 5/5

  • Annette Bening "The Kids Are All Right"
  • Nicole Kidman "Rabbit Hole"
  • Jennifer Lawrence "Winter's Bone"
  • Natalie Portman "Black Swan"
  • Michelle Williams "Blue Valentine"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR -- 4/5

  • Christian Bale "The Fighter"
  • John Hawkes "Winter's Bone" (alternate)
  • Jeremy Renner "The Town"
  • Mark Ruffalo "The Kids Are All Right"
  • Geoffrey Rush "The King's Speech"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS -- 4/5

  • Amy Adams "The Fighter"
  • Helena Bonham Carter "The King's Speech"
  • Melissa Leo "The Fighter"
  • Hailee Steinfeld "True Grit"
  • Jacki Weaver "Animal Kingdom" (alternate)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY -- 4/5

  • Another Year (alternate)
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • The King's Speech

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY -- 5/5

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

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE -- 2/3

  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • The Illusionist (alternate)
  • Toy Story 3

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY -- 5/5

  • Black Swan
  • Inception
  • The King's Speech
  • The Social Network
  • True Grit

BEST FILM EDITING -- 4/5

  • 127 Hours
  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter (alternate)
  • The King's Speech
  • The Social Network

BEST ART DIRECTION -- 4/5

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (alternate)
  • Inception
  • The King's Speech
  • True Grit

BEST COSTUME DESIGN -- 3/5

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • I Am Love (missed)
  • The King's Speech
  • The Tempest (alternate)
  • True Grit

BEST SOUND MIXING -- 3/5

  • Inception
  • The King's Speech (alternate)
  • Salt (missed)
  • The Social Network
  • True Grit

BEST SOUND EDITING -- 2/5

  • Inception
  • Toy Story 3 (missed)
  • TRON: Legacy (missed)
  • True Grit
  • Unstoppable (alternate)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS -- 3/5

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
  • Hereafter (alternate)
  • Inception
  • Iron Man 2 (alternate)

BEST MAKEUP -- 0/3

  • Barney's Version (alternate)
  • The Way Back (missed)
  • The Wolfman (alternate)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE -- 4/5

  • 127 Hours (alternate)
  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • Inception
  • The King's Speech
  • The Social Network

BEST ORIGINAL SONG -- 3/4

  • "Coming Home" -- Country Strong (alternate)
  • "I See the Light" -- Tangled
  • "If I Rise" -- 127 Hours
  • "We Belong Together" -- Toy Story 3

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM -- 4/5

  • Biutiful [Mexico]
  • Dogtooth [Greece]
  • In a Better World [Denmark]
  • Incendies [Canada]
  • Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi) [Algeria] (alternate)

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE -- 3/5

  • Exit Through the Gift Shop
  • Gasland (missed)
  • Inside Job
  • Restrepo
  • Waste Land (missed)

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

  • Killing in the Name
  • Poster Girl
  • Strangers No More
  • Sun Come Up
  • The Warriors of Quigang

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM

  • The Confession
  • The Crush
  • God of Love
  • Na Wewe
  • Wish 143

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

  • Day & Night
  • The Gruffalo
  • Let's Pollute
  • The Lost Thing
  • Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)

Post-nomination thoughts & reactions

Well, I did pretty decent this year. Out of 106 total predictions, I nailed 80 of them right on the nose, and if you include my alternate choices, I hit a whopping 99/106!!! If I can't be proud of myself for that, then I don't know what I can be.

A couple of quick thoughts...

1. WHAT THE HELL, ACADEMY!!!!!!!!!!! What in the world does Christopher Nolan have to do to earn a freaking Best Director nomination! The snub for The Dark Knight was bad enough, but to do it again, for a film that is widely regarded as one of the best of the year, and a true Director's Film, is absolutely unforgiveable! Mr. Nolan, I'm sorry the directors are apparently blind. The screenplay nomination is a small consolation, but still, come on guys!!!!

2. With all the love that I predicted (correctly) for 127 Hours, I guess I should've put it in the Best Picture list after all. But it's all good. At least I kept in Winter's Bone, which a lot of people dropped off to make room. And speaking of Winter's Bone...

3. YAY for John Hawkes! His performance truly was the standout of the film for me, and I was very happy to hear his name called out this morning. He deserves it.

4. Surprise, surprise for Jacki Weaver! Well, not really a surprise, considering I had her as an alternate choice. Sad that it came at the expense of Mila Kunis, but even with the 5 nominations it got, the Academy just didn't go for Black Swan the way a lot of people, including me, thought they would.

5. I can't be too upset about the misses in Sound Editing, considering there is always very little to go on in that particular race. Also was difficult this year, since many times the 2 sound categories match very closely, and this year only Inception and True Grit found a home in both.

6. I weep for Scott Pilgrim. I wanted it to happen. I knew it wouldn't happen, but I wanted it to happen.

7. Makeup category was a complete shutout for me! Ouch! I said it beforehand, I had a gut feeling that both Barney's Version and The Wolfman would make it in, but ended up predicting neither. And where did The Way Back come from??? Deserving nod, but surprised to see it show up nonetheless.

8. I am loving the nomination for How to Train Your Dragon for Original Score. It might be my favorite of the year, or if not definitely one of them. That nod actually made me yell out a "hell yeah".

9. So the Academy really hated Burlesque as much as everyone else. Not even a single song nomination. They went with 4 songs this year, 3 of which I predicted correctly, and the other was one of my backup choices, so I'm good there.

10. 4/5 in Foreign Language is always passable in my book. Can't believe they actually went for Dogtooth! Great nod!

11. The Documentary Feature category didn't hurt me too bad, 3/5. But, where in the world is Waiting for Superman. Widely considered to be one of the front-runners in this race, and it gets snubbed not only here, but in the Best Song category too. Surprise, and ouch!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Awards -- International Cinephile Society


The IFC is a group that was formed back in 2003, made up of about 55 accredited journalists, film scholars, historians, and other industry professionals who cover film festivals and events. Each year, they honor the finest in American and international cinema. They were also accredited at the Festival de Cannes, and will be again in 2011. Since the group's forming, the films chosen as Best of the year have been The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Before Sunset, Brokeback Mountain, Children of Men, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Happy-Go-Lucky, & A Serious Man.

This year, Carlos leads the nominations with 9, followed by The Social Network with 7, and A Prophet and Black Swan with 6. Winners will be announced on February 18. Here are the nominees...

BEST PICTURE
Another Year
Black Swan
Blue Valentine
Carlos
Everyone Else
Exit Through the Gift Shop
I Am Love
Inception
A Prophet
The Social Network

BEST DIRECTOR
Darren Aronofsky "Black Swan"
Olivier Assayas "Carlos"
Jacques Audiard "A Prophet"
David Fincher "The Social Network"
Mike Leigh "Another Year"

BEST ACTOR
Jesse Eisenberg "The Social Network"
Colin Firth "The King's Speech"
Ryan Gosling "Blue Valentine"
Tahar Rahim "A Prophet"
Edgar Ramirez "Carlos"

BEST ACTRESS
Do-yeon Jeon "Secret Sunshine"
Lesley Manville "Another Year"
Giovanna Mezzogiorno "Vincere"
Natalie Portman "Black Swan"
Tilda Swinton "I Am Love"
Michelle Williams "Blue Valentine"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Niels Arestrup "A Prophet"
Christian Bale "The Fighter"
Michael Fassbender "Fish Tank"
John Hawkes "Winter's Bone"
Filippo Timi "Vincere"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Elle Fanning "Somewhere"
Barbara Hershey "Black Swan"
Naomi Watts "Mother and Child"
Jacki Weaver "Animal Kingdom"
Olivia Williams "The Ghost Writer"

BEST ENSEMBLE
Another Year
Carlos
The Kids Are All Right
Mother and Child
Please Give
The Social Network

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Another Year
Blue Valentine
Carlos
Everyone Else
A Prophet

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Ghost Writer
The Social Network
True Grit
Wild Grass
Winter's Bone

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Howl
How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Summer Wars
Toy Story 3

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Black Swan
Carlos
I Am Love
True Grit
Vincere

BEST FILM EDITING
Blue Valentine
Carlos
Inception
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
The Social Network

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Carlos
The Ghost Writer
I Am Love
Inception
Shutter Island

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Black Swan
The Ghost Writer
Inception
The Social Network
White Material

BEST FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Carlos
Dogtooth
Everyone Else
I Am Love
Mother
A Prophet
Secret Sunshine
Vincere
White Material
Wild Grass

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Boxing Gym
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
Restrepo
Sweetgrass

BEST FILM NOT RELEASED IN 2010
The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu
Certified Copy
Film Socialisme
Heartbeats
Honey
I Killed My Mother
Kosmos
Meek's Cutoff
Mysteries of Lisbon
Of Gods and Men
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Saturday, January 22, 2011

FINAL PREDICTIONS...ALL CATEGORIES...OSCARS 2010

That time of year has come again, time for the madness that is the Academy Award nominations. After much analyzing, deliberating, and generally non-sleeping, I have narrowed down my choices in 21 categories for this year's Oscars. Below you'll find a category by category breakdown, with analysis for each.

As always, I've included my predictions for the nominees, as well as a few alternate choices in each category. Last year, including alternates, I had 86/101 predictions correct. I'm just hoping to get anywhere remotely near that number this year, and won't be surprised if I don't, as many of the races feel much more wide open to me than previous years. I also included the Documentary Feature category this year. It could help, or could come back and bite me. We'll see.

For several of the actors, it's not so much even "who", as "where", as category confusion could make it difficult for several performers. Some years it doesn't matter, and some years it leads to a big snub. For the likes of performers like Hailee Steinfeld, Geoffrey Rush, & Lesley Manville, we'll have to see what happens.

There is a lot of following the precursor awards, whether it be the Guilds, Globes, Critics Choice, Bafta, various other critics, or other groups, thrown in with more than my share of sheer guesswork. But after all the thinking, prognasticating, and number crunching, it's time for Oscar to speak.

So without further ado, my predictions for the 2010 Academy Award nominations are....

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
This is the first year I've ever included the Doc category in my predictions. I would be extremely shocked if either Job or Superman didn't end up in the final cut. I also have to go with the critic favorite Gift Shop. In the aftermath of The Hurt Locker last year, I think Restrepo will also catch the viewers with an interest in the war. The final choice for me was really between Tillman Story & Client 9. Having seen them both, I can see either of them taking it. But then again there are 15 finalists in this category, so who knows. I may end up missing a whole bunch of these.

Predictions
Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Inside Job
Restrepo
Waiting for Superman

Alternates
Precious Life
The Tillman Story


BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The list of the 9 finalist films was released about a week ago, with some glaring omissions left off. That said, these are the films we have to work with. I think that Incendies and Biutiful have the best chance out of any of these. Dogtooth is so different from anything the Academy usually goes for, but the fact that it was even on the finalist list shows that it has supporters, so I'm including it here, although I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see it left off. The rest is really a crap shoot for me, having seen only the trailers for most of the other films here.

Predictions
Canada -- "Incendies"
Denmark -- "In a Better World"
Greece -- "Dogtooth"
Mexico -- "Biutiful"
South Africa -- "Life, Above All"

Alternates
Algeria -- "Hors la Loi (Outside the Law)"
Japan -- "Confessions"


BEST ORIGINAL SONG
We like to pretend like we know what's going to happen in this category, but the truth is that in the last 5 years or so, the choices for Song have gone so randomly that we really don't know. Even songs that win big, big precursor awards have absolutely no definite chance of being nominated here. That said, I think the songs that have the best chance to show up here would be "I See the Light", "Shine", & "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me." If there is a place where they Academy is going to go for Burlesque, it'll be in either costumes or here. The main reason for most of these picks is sheer starpower behind the writers and performers.

Predictions
"I See the Light" -- Tangled
"If I Rise" -- 127 Hours
"Shine" -- Waiting for Superman
"We Belong Together" -- Toy Story 3
"You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" -- Burlesque

Alternates
"Coming Home" -- Country Strong
"Sticks and Stones" -- How to Train Your Dragon


BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
The Social Network has cleaned up several big awards already, and since it wasn't deemed ineligible, I expect it here. The same is said for Hans Zimmer's score for Inception. Danny Elfman should expect a nod for his score to Alice in Wonderland as well. I think the King's Speech will be swept up in an across-the-board nomination tally for the film, not to mention the score is quite lovely. And while the Academy might go for Slumdog Millionaire A.R. Rahman for his score to 127 Hours, or if they need a dose of Alexandre Desplat, (doesn't everyone), they could go for his wonderfully tense score for Ghost Writer, I think the one of the most beautiful and noticeable scores of the year come from the mind of John Powell for How to Train Your Dragon. The flying scenes alone are worthy of a nod here.

Predictions
Alice in Wonderland
How to Train Your Dragon
Inception
The King's Speech
The Social Network

Alternates
127 Hours
The Ghost Writer


BEST MAKEUP
The finalist list of 7 chosen by the Academy is a true mish-mash of work. The makeup branch isn't afraid to nominated...(clears throat)...bad films. (Norbit? Really???) And while I don't think it reaches that level, even Jonah Hex has a shot here. The clear frontrunner is Alice in Wonderland, a film where noticable makeup touches every single live-action character. Since they went with the boxing work of Cinderella Man back in 05, I expect them to follow suit with The Fighter. And while I have a strange feeling that they're going to go with the aging makeup of Barney's Version, or the creature work of The Wolfman (the film's 1 real chance at any sort of praise), I'm predicting the period work of True Grit in the last position.

Predictions
Alice in Wonderland
The Fighter
True Grit

Alternates
Barney's Version
The Wolfman


BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
For the first time since 1979, the nominee list will include 5 films instead of 3. Alice, Inception, Tron, I would all consider locks. The 1 film I'm really hoping pulling for here is Scott Pilgrim. The effects are so different and stylized, so unlike the choices they usually pick, which is one reason I'm so behind it. Well that, and that I loved the film.

Predictions
Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
Inception
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
TRON: Legacy

Alternates
Hereafter
Iron Man 2


BEST SOUND EDITING
Last year the choices in the sound categories matched decently close to each other, and I expect this year will be very similar. I'm expecting Black Swan, Inception, and True Grit to find their way into back categories. And while Pixar has an insanely good track record in the sound categories, I'm pulling for the work in How to Train Your Dragon instead. The soundscape of The Social Network is a perfect balance of score, dialogue, and noise, and should deservedly find a home in the mixing category. And since the CAS included Shutter Island in their choices, I'm including it here as well.

Predictions
127 Hours
Black Swan
How to Train Your Dragon
Inception
True Grit

Alternates
Iron Man 2
Unstoppable


BEST SOUND MIXING
Black Swan
Inception
Shutter Island
The Social Network
True Grit

Alternates
127 Hours
The King's Speech


BEST COSTUME DESIGN
I'm pretty sure about 3/5 of these. Alice, King's Speech, and True Grit are all running pretty safe. The work in Black Swan is memorable, but some may argue that it's not more than average ballet & theater costuming, which can be argued as a valid point. Sandy Powell's work in The Tempest is nod-worthy, but how many voters ever put that dvd in their players? If there is any other spot besides song where the lavish, over-the-top work of Burlesque will be mentioned, it'll be here.

Predictions
Alice in Wonderland
Black Swan
Burlesque
The King's Speech
True Grit

Alternates
Made in Dagenham
The Tempest


BEST ART DIRECTION
These year was a particularly strong year in film design, in my opinion. Many deserving films will be left of the floor. In this category, "more" is often thought of as "best", and if that's the case, then Alice in Wonderland should land a nod easily. The design of Inception is critical to the film's plot, and will also land here. The period works of True Grit and King's Speech also look strong. And while Stuart Craig has found his name called before, and Academy favorite Dante Ferretti's work in Shutter Island is more than worthy, I think the theater world of Black Swan will win another of it's many nods here.

Predictions
Alice in Wonderland
Black Swan
Inception
The King's Speech
True Grit

Alternates
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
Shutter Island


BEST FILM EDITING
Always one of the most competitive categories, and one that often matches up quite closely with the Best Picture nominees. This year, I'm going with 4/5 matching up, and the quick cutting and fast pacing of 127 Hours to earn a nod alongside, in my mind, what are the 4 true front-runners for Best Picture. Cinderella Man also earned a nod here, so The Fighter showing up is a real possibility also. My dream-nomination? Scott Pilgrim. But it's not happening.

Predictions
127 Hours
Black Swan
Inception
The King's Speech
The Social Network

Alternates
The Fighter
True Grit


BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
My favorite tech category. This is another category where I'm pretty secure in about 3/4 of my choices. I can't see Swan, Inception, or Grit missing out. The Social Network missed at the BAFTAs, but landed with the ASC, so it should pick up a nod here to add to it's growing total. And in another nominee tidal wave, The King's Speech will add to it's total with it's understated camera work. The only real spoiler I see is 127 Hours, which would absolutely deserve a nod here if it receives one. Fantastic camera work. Would also love to see a nod for Harry Potter, a la with the last film, but the buzz on it seems to have died down a while ago, even if it is deserved.

Predictions
Black Swan
Inception
The King's Speech
The Social Network
True Grit

Alternates
127 Hours
Shutter Island


BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
We're back to 3 nominees this year, as 1 too few fils were submitted to bump this category back up to 5 choices. Btw, that is one of the stupedist rules ever. Films should not be judged by an arbitrary number of choices, but by quality. There are easily 5 films that deserve a spot here. That said, Dragon & Toy Story are locked. The 3 spot is in a serious 3-way competition. Despicable Me seems to be in the lead, with it's PGA and BAFTA nods, and the critic love for The Illusionist is strong. But I'm going with my gut and staying with Disney's Tangled, the latest out of the mouse house. After all, we gotta try to keep at least 1 semi-traditional non-CG film in here, right? Right? RIGHT??? I have no idea.

Predictions
How to Train Your Dragon
Tangled
Toy Story 3

Alternates
Despicable Me
The Illusionist


BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
This race should be called "Aaron Sorkin and the 4 other writers", but since we gotta have 5 nominees, here we are. Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufooy might find a consolation nod here for 127 Hours, and the Coens should score for their True Grit script. Toy Story 3 is deemed as adapted, and the last 3 Pixar films have all shown up in the writing categories, so check one spot off there. And while I would prefer the twists of Ghost Writer or strong dialogue of The Town (nod for Affleck too), I'm predicting that the backwoods drama of Winter's Bone will find it's way onto the nomination checklist.

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

Alternates
The Ghost Writer
The Town


BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
There are really only 7 scripts in true running here, unless we have a total surprise come Tuesday morning. Inception, Kids, and King's Speech are all locked. And since the writers admire tackling a tough subject, Blue Valentine could earn a nod here. Same be said for Mike Leigh's newest, Another Year. I swear that man gets nominated for others people's words far too much. I'm going with the 2 films I'm predicting will also be up for Best Picture, Black Swan & The Fighter, to fill the final spots.

Predictions
Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech

Alternates
Another Year
Blue Valentine


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
The ladies from The Fighter and Bonham Carter are all pretty close to being locks. Kunis was the big surprise of the awards season this year, but deserved, and after a Globe and a SAG nod, she should hear her named called as well. The big question is young Miss Steinfeld. Is it a supporting performance? No. It's a lead. But this is where she's being campaigned, and even tho the BAFTA's nominated her as a lead actress, I think she will still find a home in this category.

Predictions
Amy Adams "The Fighter"
Helena Bonham Carter "The King's Speech"
Mila Kunis "Black Swan"
Melissa Leo "The Fighter"
Hailee Steinfeld "True Grit"

Alternates
Barbara Hershey "Black Swan"
Jackie Weaver "Animal Kingdom"


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christian Bale should already start preparing his speech, as he will not only earn his first nod (FINALLY!), but is the clear front-runner for the win. Geoffrey Rush is in all truth a 2nd lead in King's Speech, but he'd lose to Colin Firth, so the studio wants him here. I'm fine with that I guess. Ruffalo should also earn his first (again FINALLY) nomination for his work in The Kids Are All Right. And followed his masterful lead role in Hurt Locker last year, Jeremy Renner plays the most memorable role in The Town. He was chosen for a SAG nod, good sign there. And finally, the young new Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield, should also here his name called, as his Eduardo is one of the most understated and wonderful performances of the year, in The Social Network. In a perfect world, I hear John Hawkes' name called out. He was the best part of Winter's Bone for me.

Predictions
Christian Bale "The Fighter"
Andrew Garfield "The Social Network"
Jeremy Renner "The Town"
Mark Ruffalo "The Kids Are All Right"
Geoffrey Rush "The King's Speech"

Alternates
John Hawkes "Winter's Bone"
Sam Rockwell "Conviction"


BEST ACTRESS
Bening, Lawrence, & Portman should all feel pretty secure in their chances. And after nods from the Globes, Critics Choice, and SAG, Nicole Kidman should as well. The big question is spot number 5. Noomi Rapace could shock like she did at the BAFTAs and show up for her work in Dragon Tattoo. Hailee Steinfeld might earn more votes here than in the supporting category. In my personal preference, Julianne Moore is called out instead of Bening. But Michelle Williams' work in Blue Valentine is devastating, and so strong that it's hard to not see it get noticed. She should earn her 2nd nomination.

Predictions
Annette Bening "The Kids Are All Right"
Nicole Kidman "Rabbit Hole"
Jennifer Lawrence "Winter's Bone"
Natalie Portman "Black Swan"
Michelle Williams "Blue Valentine"

Alternates
Julianne Moore "The Kids Are All Right"
Naomi Rapace "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"


BEST ACTOR
Like last year, I think this is one of the easier races to predict. I think Bridges, Eisenberg, Firth & Franco are all locked up. The final choice could go to Ryan Gosling if they love Blue Valentine. And several big name stars have pushed lately for Javier Bardem's work in Biutiful. Don't forget, he was nominated for a spanish role before, back in 2000 for Before Night Falls. But the Academy loves Robert Duvall. It's been years since his last nod, and he gives a great performance in Get Low. He picked up a SAG nod, and should score here as well.

Predictions
Jeff Bridges "True Grit"
Robert Duvall "Get Low"
Jesse Eisenberg "The Social Network"
Colin Firth "The King's Speech"
James Franco "127 Hours"

Alternates
Javier Bardem "Biutiful"
Ryan Gosling "Blue Valentine"


BEST DIRECTOR
This is more another choice of "who's the last one in" that "who will be left out". Fincher will earn his 2 nod in 3 years for Social Network. Tom Hooper will get a nod for one of the front-runner films. The Academy loves the Coens, especially since about 1/2 the acting branch has worked with them at one point or another. Aronofsky should finally earn an overdue nod, which is strange to say since he's made so few films. And Christopher Nolan, the man snubbed for Memento, and especially The Dark Knight, will finally receive the title of "Academy Award Nominated Director." Let it be the first of many for him. But don't count out David O. Russell, who's "The Fighter" has leveled many a contender in the way, and earned him a DGA nod. And if the Academy goes the way of 127 Hours, the way the BAFTA's did, you can expect that a nod for Danny Boyle could very possibly follow suit.

Predictions
Darren Aronofksy "Black Swan"
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen "True Grit"
David Fincher "The Social Network"
Tom Hooper "The King's Speech"
Christopher Nolan "Inception"

Alternates
Danny Boyle "127 Hours"
David O. Russell "The Fighter"


BEST PICTURE
Eight of these films feel like very safe choices. The truth to me is that there are really 11 films fighting for 10 spots, and the problem is, they all truly deserve it. The only films that I think are truly vulnerable here are The Town (great reviews, wonderful, released too soon???) & Winter's Bone (too gritty or independent???), either of which could be replaced by 127 Hours (but how many viewers even tried to watch it, knowing about "The Scene" in advance???). All the other contenders feel quite safe. Will we have another WTF shocker like The Blind Side popping up last year? We could. But I'm having a hard time seeing anything else but the top listed here + 127 Hours being called out. If it is included, then what goes? We'll find out in 2 1/2 days. Cheers!!!

Predictions
Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech
The Social Network
The Town
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter's Bone

Alternates
127 Hours
Another Year
The Ghost Writer
Shutter Island


Total I have Black Swan, The King's Speech, and True Grit all tallying 11 nominations, with Inception following with 10 and The Social Network with 9. I don't think in Academy history that 4 films that ever crossed the 10 nomination threshold, which is the main reason why I'm expecting to be wrong on a bunch of these.

Here are my other predicted films to receive at least 2 nods...

11
Black Swan
The King's Speech
True Grit

10
Inception

9
The Social Network

6
The Fighter

5
127 Hours
Alice in Wonderland

4
The Kids Are All Right
Toy Story 3

3
How to Train Your Dragon
Winter's Bone

2
Burlesque
Tangled
The Town
Waiting for Superman

...

I am finalizing my final predictions for this year's nominees as I speak. Should be done and posted online very soon.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Awards -- Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE)

Always the final guild of the year to announce, the MPSE breaks their awards up into individual editing categories as well. It's always hard to decifer the difference between some of the categories, but at least the films mentioned tend to give at least an inkling of how this category will go come nomination morning. I listed the FX & Foley category first, as I personally think it's the biggest category to watch from this group.

BEST SOUND EDITING: FEATURE FILM FX & FOLEY
127 Hours
Black Swan
Inception
Iron Man 2
Salt
Tron: Legacy
True Grit
Unstoppable

BEST SOUND EDITING: FEATURE FILM MUSIC
Alice in Wonderland
Black Swan
Get Low
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
Inception
Let Me In
The Losers
The Social Network

BEST SOUND EDITING: FEATURE FILM DX & ADR
Black Swan
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
Inception
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech
The Social Network
Tron: Legacy
True Grit

BEST SOUND EDITING: FEATURE FILM MUSIC IN A MUSICAL
Burlesque
Country Strong
Step Up 3D
Tangled

BEST SOUND EDITING: FEATURE FILM ANIMATION
Despicable Me
How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole
Tangled
Toy Story 3

BEST SOUND EDITING: FEATURE FILM DOCUMENTARY
Baby
Catfish
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Inside Job
Restrepo
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage
Waiting for Superman

BEST SOUND EDITING: FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Biutiful
The Girl Who Played with Fire
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Lebanon
Micmacs
Mother
North Face

Awards -- Costume Designers Guild (CDG)

The Costume Designers have announced their nominees for the year. They, like the art directors, split their awards into 3 seperate categories, unlike the final 1 at the Oscars. This year in also interesting, in the fact that they had 5 nominees in one category, and only 3 in the others. But Social Network, Black Swan, True Grit, and King's Speech have all shown up, as expected. Here's the full list.

Excellence in Contemporary Film
Black Swan -- Amy Westcott
Burlesque -- Michael Kaplan
Inception -- Jeffrey Kurland
The Social Network -- Jacqueline West
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps -- Ellen Mirojnick

Excellence in Period Film
The Fighter -- Mark Bridges
The King's Speech -- Jenny Beavan
True Grit -- Mary Zophres

Excellence in Fantasy Film
Alice in Wonderland -- Colleen Atwood
The Tempest -- Sandy Powell
Tron: Legacy -- Michael Wilkinson & Christine Bieselin Clark

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Oscars -- Foreign Language Film finalists

The myriad of films eligible for this year's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar have been narrowed down to the final 9. A few "snubs", mainly "Of Gods and Men" and "Uncle Boonmee", and a big surprise to see a few of these show up, but here are the finalists...

Algeria -- "Hors la Loi (Outside the Law)"
Canada -- "Incendies"
Denmark -- "In a Better World"
Greece -- "Dogtooth"
Japan -- "Confessions"
Mexico -- "Biutiful"
South Africa -- "Life, above All"
Spain -- "Tambien la Lluvia (Even the Rain)"
Sweden -- "Simple Simon"

The final 5 nominees will be chosen from this group.

And btw, I still say this category needs to go through some serious changes. And I think everybody knows it, but doesn't want to do anything about it.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

BAFTA by the numbers

Including it's nomination for Best British Film, THE KING'S SPEECH leads the way with 14 nods, followed closely behind by BLACK SWAN with 12, the only other film to crack the 10-nod barrier. Great push for a film that didn't really need a push, especially after it received the most nods at the Critics Choice as well, although it only took home the win for Best Actress.

Without a strong acting contender, INCEPTION did well to rack up 9 nominations, 6 of which were in the technical categories. TRUE GRIT pulled in a total of 8, as did 127 HOURS, which earns the silver-coated honor of being the most nominated film without a Best Picture nomination, although it is up for Best British Film as well. Rounding out the last of the Best Pic nominees with 6 nods is the film that has swept everything it can so far and is very arguably the front-runner for the Oscar, THE SOCIAL NETWORK.

Here's the total breakdown, with all categories but the shorts, including Foreign Film, British Film, & British Debut.

14 Nominations
The King's Speech*

12 Nominations
Black Swan*

9 Nominations
Inception*

8 Nominations
127 Hours
True Grit*

6 Nominations
The Social Network*

5 Nominations
Alice in Wonderland

4 Nominations
The Kids Are All Right
Made in Dagenham

3 Nominations
The Fighter
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Toy Story 3

2 Nominations
Another Year
Biutiful
Four Lions
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
How to Train Your Dragon

1 Nomination
The Arbor
Despicable Me
Exit Through the Gift Shop
I Am Love
Monsters
Of Gods and Men
The Secret in Their Eyes
Skeletons
The Town

Awards -- BAFTA Nominations

The British Academy has released their nominees. Arguably, along with the Critics' Choice, and several of the guilds, these are some of the most influential awards out there. Particularly because it gives us a little view of what the people across the pond have on their minds. Think "The Reader" showing up, if you need an example of what I mean. Love the fact that they also give awards in practically every category that AMPAS does as well.

That said, here's my thoughts. Strong showings by many of the front-runners. I love the lineup for Best Actress. I personally think Moore gives an even better performance that the "lead" of Bening, and she deserves to be in this group. Also love the inclusion of Steinfeld here. It's a lead performance, enough with the category fraud. People who are onscreen for more time are LEADS, regardless of their history or experience!

The inclusion of Postlethwaite in the supporting category is both a surprise and deserved. It's sad that we lost him only a few weeks ago, and he will be missed by his many fans, including me. But to go out with that role as your last, gives much credit to the man as an actor. His delivery is chillingly serious.

Starting to think that it's more and more likely that Despicable Me will claim that 3rd spot for Animated Film. In my mind, Tangled SHOULD still get it. But after a nod here, plus a Producers Guild nod, Despicable Me is looking stronger and stronger.

Besides that, not a whole bunch of other surprises. I love the nod for How to Train Your Dragon in Score, as the music is one of my favorites of the year. Huge shocker to see Amy Adams but no Melissa Leo???? And even though 127 Hours didn't make it in the Best Picture category, it looks like it still has a good possibility to show up in several categories at the Oscars. And could Dragon Tattoo show up anywhere? While ineligible at the Oscars, it could be still in the running for Actress & Screenplay, as we see here.

BEST PICTURE
Black Swan
Inception
The King's Speech
The Social Network
True Grit

BEST DIRECTOR
Darren Aronofsky "Black Swan"
Danny Boyle "127 Hours"
David Fincher "The Social Network"
Tom Hooper "The King's Speech"
Christopher Nolan "Inception"

BEST ACTOR
Javier Bardem "Biutiful"
Jeff Bridges "True Grit"
Jesse Eisenberg "The Social Network"
Colin Firth "The King's Speech"
James Franco "127 Hours"

BEST ACTRESS
Annette Bening "The Kids Are All Right"
Julianne Moore "The Kids Are All Right"
Natalie Portman "Black Swan"
Noomi Rapace "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
Hailee Steinfeld "True Grit"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christian Bale "The Fighter"
Andrew Garfield "The Social Network"
Pete Postlethwaite "The Town"
Mark Ruffalo "The Kids Are All Right"
Geoffrey Rush "The King's Speech"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams "The Fighter"
Helena Bonham Carter "The King's Speech"
Barbara Hershey "Black Swan"
Lesley Manville "Another Year"
Miranda Richardson "Made in Dagenham"

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
127 Hours
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Despicable Me
How to Train Your Dragon
Toy Story 3

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
127 Hours
Black swan
Inception
The King's Speech
True Grit

BEST FILM EDITING
127 Hours
Black Swan
Inception
The King's Speech
The Social Network

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Alice in Wonderland
Black Swan
Inception
The King's Speech
True Grit

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Alice in Wonderland
Black Swan
The King's Speech
Made in Dagenham
True Grit

BEST SOUND
127 Hours
Black Swan
Inception
The King's Speech
True Grit

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Alice in Wonderland
Black Swan
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
Inception
Toy Story 3

BEST MAKEUP & HAIR
Alice in Wonderland
Black Swan
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
The King's Speech
Made in Dagenham

BEST ORIGINAL MUSIC
127 Hours
Alice in Wonderland
How to Train Your Dragon
Inception
The King's Speech

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Biutiful
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
I Am Love
Of Gods And Men
The Secret In Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos)

BEST BRITISH FILM
127 Hours
Another Year
Four Lions
The King's Speech
Made in Dagenham

BEST DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER/DIRECTOR/PRODUCER
The Arbor -- Director/Producer -- Clio Barnard & Tracy O'Riordan
Exit Through the Gift shop -- Director/Producer -- Banksy & Jaimie D'Cruz
Four Lions -- Director/Writer -- Chris Morris
Monsters -- Director/Writer -- Gareth Edwards
Skeletons -- Director/Writer -- Nick Whitfield

BEST SHORT FILM
Connect
Lin
Rite
Turning
Until the River Runs Red

BEST SHORT ANIMATION
The Eagleman Stag
Matter Fisher
Thursday

ORANGE RISING STAR AWARD
Gemma Arterton
Andrew Garfield
Tom Hardy
Aaron Johnson
Emma Stone

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Awards -- Broadcast Film Critics (Critics Choice) Part 2 -- Winners

The Critics Choice Awards were given out last night by the Broadcast Film Critics. The Social Network expectedly took home the big prize, along with Director, Screenplay, and Score. The acting categories went 5/5 for how I thought they would. I was a bit surprised when The King's Speech took Screenplay. The biggest winner of the night by sheer numbers was Inception, which took home 6 total awards, including many of the big techs, cinematography, film editing, art direction, sound, visual effects, along with the prize for Best Action Film. So a good spreading of the wealth last night.

BEST PICTURE: The Social Network
BEST DIRECTOR: David Fincher "The Social Network"
BEST ACTOR: Colin Firth "The King's Speech"
BEST ACTRESS: Natalie Portman "Black Swan"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christian Bale "The Fighter"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Melissa Leo "The Fighter"
BEST ENSEMBLE: The Fighter
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: The King's Speech
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: The Social Network
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: Toy Story 3
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Inception
BEST FILM EDITING: Inception
BEST ART DIRECTION: Inception
BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Alice in Wonderland
BEST SOUND: Inception
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Inception
BEST MAKEUP: Alice in Wonderland
BEST SCORE: The Social Network
BEST SONG: "If I Rise" -- 127 Hours
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Waiting for Superman
BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS: Hailee Steinfeld "True Grit"
BEST ACTION FILM: Inception
BEST COMEDY FILM: Easy A
BEST PICTURE MADE FOR TV: The Pacific

Awards -- Denver Film Critics

Truth be told, I didn't even know Denver had a critics group. Maybe it's a newly formed one, at least within the last few years. But either way, they announced their nominees for this year, with a lot of top contenders showing up yet again, and a few nice surprises along the way.

BEST PICTURE
Black Swan
Blue Valentine
The King's Speech
The Social Network

BEST DIRECTOR
Danny Boyle "127 Hours"
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen "True Grit"
David Fincher "The Social Network"
Christopher Nolan "Inception"


BEST ACTOR
Jeff Bridges "True Grit"
Jesse Eisenberg "The Social Network"
Colin Firth "The King's Speech"
James Franco "127 Hours"

BEST ACTRESS
Jennifer Lawrence "Winter's Bone"
Lesley Manville "Another Year"
Natalie Portman "Black Swan"
Michelle Williams "Blue Valentine"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christian Bale "The Fighter"
Matt Damon "True Grit"
Jeremy Renner "The Town"
Geoffrey Rush "The King's Speech"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams "The Fighter"
Helena Bonham Carter "The King's Speech"
Melissa Leo "The Fighter"
Jackie Weaver "Animal Kingdom"

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Inception -- Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right -- Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
The King's Speech -- David Seidler
Please Give -- Nicole Holofcener

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
127 Hours -- Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufor
The Social Network -- Aaron Sorkin
The Town -- Ben Affleck, Peter Craig & Aaron Stockard
True Grit -- Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

BEST ANIMATED FILM
How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Tangled
Toy Story 3

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Black Swan
The Social Network
Tron: Legacy
True Grit

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
"If I Rise" -- 127 Hours
"Me and Tennessee" -- Country Strong
"Shine" -- Waiting for Superman
"We Belong Together" -- Toy Story 3

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Biutiful
I Am Love
Mother
White Material

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
Restrepo
Waiting for Superman

Friday, January 14, 2011

Awards -- American Cinema Editors (ACE)

The ACE Eddie award nominees have been released. The Eddie's are just behind the Director's Guild as far as predicting best picture nominees. In fact, only 3 times this decade did the eventual Best Picture WINNER also not take home the Oscar for Best Editing, and the last time a film won Best Picture without being nominated for Editing...was back in 1980 when Ordinary People took the top prize. So, obviously, this is a very important category.

Best Edited Feature Film (Drama)
Black Swan -- Andrew Weisblum, ACE
The Fighter -- Pamela Martin
Inception -- Lee Smith, ACE
The King's Speech -- Tariq Anwar
The Social Network -- Angus Wall, ACE & Kirk Baxter

Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy/Musical)
Alice in Wonderland -- Chris Lebenzon, ACE
Easy A -- Susan Littenberg
The Kids Are All Right -- Jeffrey M. Werner
Made in Dagenham -- Michael Parker
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World -- Jonathan Amos & Paul Machliss

Best Edited Feature Film (Animated)
Despicable Me -- Gregory Perler & Pam Ziegenhagen
How to Train Your Dragon -- Maryann Brandon, ACE & Darren T. Holmes, ACE
Toy Story 3 -- Ken Schretzmann & Lee Unkrich, ACE

Best Edited Feature Film (Documentary)
Exit Through the Gift Shop -- Tom Fulford & Chris King
Inside Job -- Chad Beck & Adam Bolt
Waiting for 'Superman' -- Jay Cassidy, ACE, Greg Finton & Kim Roberts

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Awards -- American Society of Cinematographers (ASC)

Always one of my favorite categories to watch for, the ASC have announced their nominees for the best cinematography of the year. I have 4/5 right as far as predictions go, figuring that King's Speech would be left off in place of 127 Hours. But here are the nominees...

Black Swan -- Matthew Libatique

Inception -- Wally Pfister

The King's Speech -- Danny Cohen

The Social Network -- Jeff Cronenweth

True Grit -- Roger Deakins

Oscars -- Makeup shortlist down to 7

The Academy has announced the shortlist of 7 finalist for the Best Makeup category. On Satuday, January 22, all members of the Makeup Branch will be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the seven films. Following the screenings, member will vote to nominated 3 films as the nominees. The finalists are...

Alice in Wonderland

Barney's Version

The Fighter

Jonah Hex

True Grit

The Way Back

The Wolfman

Monday, January 10, 2011

Awards -- Directors Guild of America (DGA)

The DGA has long stand as a predictor for the 5 "strongest" films for the Best Picture prize. Sometimes they throw a curveball in the mix, but it's rare. This year, I got 4/5 correct. Figured they would go with either the Coens or Danny Boyle for the 5th spot, but the vote for David O. Russell only makes The Fighter even stronger, and now joins it as one of the "Top 5". (meaning if there were only 5 nominees instead of 10, The Fighter would probably be in those 5) The nominees are..
DARREN ARONOFKSY "BLACK SWAN"
DAVID FINCHER "THE SOCIAL NETWORK"
TOM HOOPER "THE KING'S SPEECH"
CHRISTOPHER NOLAN "INCEPTION"
DAVID O. RUSSELL "THE FIGHTER"

Awards -- Visual Effects Society (VES)

The VES has announced their nominees. The 1st award listed is the "big one", and interesting to see all the films on the Oscar shortlist also on this list. Normally there are 1 or 2 that are different. But that makes the race for exciting. That said, Inception leads the nominees here and it still the frontrunner to take this prize.

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual-Effects Driven Feature
Alice in wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
Inception
Iron Man 2
Tron: Legacy

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature
Black Swan
Green Zone
Hereafter
Robin Hood
Salt

Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature
How to Train Your Dragon
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole
Shrek Forever After
Tangled
Toy Story 3

Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader -- Reepicheep
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 -- Dobby
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 -- Kreacher

Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature
How to Train Your Dragon -- Toothless
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole -- Digger
Megamind -- Minion
Tangled -- Rapunzel

Outstanding Effects Animation in an Animated Feature
How to Train Your Dragon
Shrek Forever After
Toy Story 3

Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Feature
Inception -- Paris Dreamscape
Iron Man 2 -- Stark Expo
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time -- Sand Room
Tron: Legacy -- Disc Game

Outstanding Models & Miniatures in a Feature
The Expendables -- The Palace Explodes
Inception -- Hospital Fortress Destruction
Iron Man 2 -- Hammer Military Drones
Shutter Island -- Ward-C Int./Ext. Lighthouse Int.Ext.

Outstanding Compositing in a Feature
Alice in Wonderland -- Stolen Tarts
Hereafter -- Tsunami Sequence
Inception
Tron: Legacy

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Awards -- National Society of Film Critics

Usually a group to go with a less popular, less widely-released film as their choice (notice films #2 & #3), the National Society have through their hat in the now uber-sized Social Network ring. A near sweep of all categories conceivable to win, including a 1 vote win for Jesse Eisenberg for actor. Also, a nice showing from a film that I'm hoping received a few surprise nods, "The Ghost Writer", which landed on 3 lists, including a supporting actress win for Olivia Williams.

BEST PICTURE
1. The Social Network -- 61
2. Carlos -- 28
3. Winter's Bone -- 18

BEST DIRECTOR
1. David Fincher "The Social Network" -- 66
2. Olivier Assayas "Carlos" -- 36
3. Roman Polanski "The Ghost Writer" -- 29

BEST ACTOR
1. Jesse Eisenberg "The Social Network" -- 30
2. Colin Firth "The King's Speech" -- 29
2. Edgar Ramirez "Carlos" -- 29

BEST ACTRESS
1. Giovanna Mezzogiorno "Vincere" -- 33
2. Annette Bening "The Kids Are All Right" -- 28
3. Lesley Manville "Another Year" -- 27

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
1. Geoffrey Rush "The King's Speech" -- 33
2. Christian Bale "The Fighter" -- 32
3. Jeremy Renner "The Town" -- 30

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
1. Olivia Williams "The Ghost Writer" -- 37
2. Amy Adams "The Fighter" -- 28
3. Melissa Leo "The Fighter" -- 23
3. Jacki Weaver "Animal Kingdom" -- 23

BEST SCREENPLAY
1. The Social Network -- 73
2. The King's Speech -- 25
3. The Ghost Writer -- 19

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
1. True Grit -- 31
2. Black Swan -- 27
3. Somewhere -- 18

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
1. Carlos -- 31
2. A Prophet -- 22
3. White Material -- 16

BEST NON-FICTION FILM
1. Inside Job -- 25
2. Exit Through the Gift Shop -- 21
3. Last Train Home -- 15

Awards -- Cinema Audio Society (CAS)

The CAS (sound guild) has released it's nominees for best sound design & mixing of the year. A few films I expected on the list, 1 or 2 I didn't. These are usually the safest bet are far as a precursor to the Oscar nominees, although they very rarely match up 5/5. More like 3 or 4.

Black Swan
Production Mixer -- Ken Ishii, CAS
Re-recording Mixers -- Dominick Tavella, CAS & Craig Henighan

Inception
Production Mixer -- Ed Novick
Re-recording Mixers -- Lora Hirschberg & Gary A. Rizzo

Shutter Island
Production Mixer -- Petur Hliddal
Re-recording Mixer -- Tom Fleischman, CAS

The Social Network
Production Mixer -- Mark Weingarten, CAS
Re-recording Mixers -- Ren Klyce, David Parker & Michael Semanick, CAS

True Grit
Production Mixer -- Peter F. Kurland, CAS
Re-recording Mixers -- Skip Lievsay, CAS, Craig Berkey, CAS & Greg Orloff, CAS

Oscars -- Visual Effects down to final 7

I wasn't sure how the Academy was going to do the Visual Effects "bake-off" this year, since the nominees has been bumped up from 3 to 5, finally. I actually expected them to not do the shortlist of 7 finalists, and just choose 5 from the previous list of 15, but that's not how things have gone down. Here are the finalists for this year's Best Visual Effects category. 5 films will be chosen. Inception will win...I just hope Scott Pilgrim is one of the five, personally.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART 1
HEREAFTER
INCEPTION
IRON MAN 2
SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD
TRON: LEGACY

Awards -- USC Scripter Award

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with this award, it's kind of a interesting watch. This is the only award of the year that in given for BOTH the Adapted Screenplay of a book, AND the original work as well, usually a novel. The selection committee is made up of 58 people, and they awards what they deem as the "most accomplished cinematic adaptation of the year". This year's nominees are...

127 Hours
Adapted by Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy
Adapted from Aron Ralston's autobiography "Between a Rock and a Hard Place"

The Ghost Writer
Adapted by Roman Polanski
Adapted from Robert Harris' novel "The Ghost"

The Social Network
Adapted by Aaron Sorkin
Adapted from Ben Mezrich's novel "The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal"

True Grit
Adapted by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Adapted from Charles Portis' novel "True Grit"

Winter's Bone
Adapted by Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini and Daniel Woodrell
Adapted from Daniel Woodrell's novel "Winter's Bone"