The Playground of Hollywood

The Playground of Hollywood

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2011 OSCAR NOMINATIONS and how I did predicting

This year I correctly predicted 70 out of 104 nominations, bump that up to 89 including my alternates.

Here are the Academy Award nominations for 2011.

BEST PICTURE -- 7/9
  • The Artist
  • The Descendants
  • Extremely Loud & Incredible Close (missed)
  • The Help
  • Hugo
  • Midnight in Paris
  • Moneyball
  • The Tree of Life (alternate)
  • War Horse
BEST DIRECTOR -- 4/5
  • Woody Allen - "Midnight in Paris"
  • Michel Hazanavicius - "The Artist"
  • Terrence Malick - "The Tree of Life" (alternate)
  • Alexander Payne - "The Descendants"
  • Martin Scorsese - "Hugo"
BEST ACTOR -- 4/5
  • Demian Bichir - "A Better Life" (alternate)
  • George Clooney - "The Descendants"
  • Jean Dujardin - "The Artist"
  • Gary Oldman - "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
  • Brad Pitt - "Moneyball"
BEST ACTRESS -- 4/5
  • Glenn Close - "Albert Nobbs"
  • Viola Davis - "The Help"
  • Rooney Mara - "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" (alternate)
  • Meryl Streep - "The Iron Lady"
  • Michelle Williams - "My Week with Marilyn"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR -- 3/5
  • Kenneth Branagh - "My Week with Marilyn"
  • Jonah Hill - "Moneyball"
  • Nick Nolte - "Warrior" (alternate)
  • Christopher Plummer - "Beginners"
  • Max Von Sydow - "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" (missed)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS -- 4/5
  • Berenice Bejo - "The Artist"
  • Jessica Chastain - "The Help"
  • Melissa McCarthy - "Bridesmaids"
  • Janet McTeer - "Albert Nobbs" (alternate)
  • Octavia Spencer - "The Help"
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY -- 4/5
  • The Artist
  • Bridesmaids
  • Margin Call (missed)
  • Midnight in Paris
  • A Separation
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY -- 3/5
  • The Descendants
  • Hugo
  • The Ides of March (missed)
  • Moneyball
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (alternate)
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE -- 3/5
  • A Cat in Paris (missed)
  • Chico & Rita (missed)
  • Kung Fu Panda 2
  • Puss in Boots
  • Rango
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY -- 5/5
  • The Artist
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo
  • The Tree of Life
  • War Horse
BEST FILM EDITING -- 3/5
  • The Artist
  • The Descendants (alternate)
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo
  • Moneyball (alternate)
BEST ART DIRECTION -- 4/5
  • The Artist
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
  • Hugo
  • Midnight in Paris (alternate)
  • War Horse
BEST COSTUME DESIGN -- 3/5
  • Anonymous (alternate)
  • The Artist
  • Hugo
  • Jane Eyre
  • W.E. (missed)
BEST SOUND MIXING -- 2/5
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (missed)
  • Hugo
  • Moneyball (missed)
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon (alternate)
  • War Horse
BEST SOUND EDITING -- 1/5
  • Drive (alternate)
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (missed)
  • Hugo (missed)
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon (alternate)
  • War Horse
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS -- 4/5
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
  • Hugo
  • Real Steel (missed)
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
BEST MAKEUP -- 1/3
  • Albert Nobbs (alternate)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
  • The Iron Lady (alternate)
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE -- 3/5
  • The Adventures of Tintin (missed)
  • The Artist
  • Hugo
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (alternate)
  • War Horse
BEST ORIGINAL SONG -- 1/2
  • "Man or Muppet" - The Muppets
  • "Real in Rio" - Rio (missed)
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM -- 4/5
  • Bullhead [Belgium]
  • Footnote [Israel]
  • In Darkness [Poland]
  • Monsieur Lazhar [Canada] (alternate)
  • A Separation [Iran]
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE -- 3/5
  • Hell and Back Again (missed)
  • If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front (alternate)
  • Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
  • Pina
  • Undefeated
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
  • The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement
  • God Is the Bigger Elvis
  • Incident in New Baghdad
  • Saving Face
  • The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom
BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM
  • Pentecost
  • Raju
  • The Shore
  • Time Freak
  • Tuba Atlantic
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
  • Dimanche/Sunday
  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
  • La Luna
  • A Morning Stroll
  • Wild Life

NOMINATIONS BY FILM

11 nominations
Hugo*

10 nominations
The Artist*

6 nominations
Moneyball*
War Horse*

5 nominations
The Descendants*
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

4 nominations
The Help*
Midnight in Paris*

3 nominations
Albert Nobbs
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
The Tree of Life*

2 nominations
Bridesmaids
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close*
The Iron Lady
My Week with Marilyn
A Separation

1 nomination
The Adventures of Tintin
Anonymous
Beginners
A Better Life
Bullhead
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Drive
Footnote
The Ides of March
In Darkness
Jane Eyre
Kung Fu Panda 2
Margin Call
Monsieur Lazhar
The Muppets
Puss in Boots
Rango
Real Steel
Rio
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Warrior
W.E.

Post-nomination thoughts and reactions....

Wow. What a tough, tough year in this game of Oscars. I didn't get quite as many as last year, but still, out of 104 possible correct nominations, including my alternate choices in each category, I got 89 right. I'll take it. 86% isn't exactly bad at this. A few quick thoughts...

1. Jonah Hill is an Oscar nominated actor.....Let me say that again...JONAH HILL is an Oscar-nominated actor!!!!!  That means Jonah Hill = 1 ... Errol Flynn, Jim Carrey, Edward G. Robinson, Buster Keaton, Bob Hope, Fred MacMurray = 0

2. On the other hand, GARY OLDMAN IS AN OSCAR-NOMINATED ACTOR. About freaking time guys! If he didn't get into the race here, I was under the impression that he very likely never would be. Might be the nod I'm most happy about this year. And happy I predicted it too.

3. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close just became the lowest-rated reviewed film to be nominated for Best Picture since I don't even know when. There was much outcry when The Blind Side snuck into the race a few years ago, but even that film was at 66% positive reviews, with the public rating into the 90% range. Extremely Close is currently running at 48% positive reviews, with only 67% with the public??? How does that make this a viable "Best Picture of the Year" choice. Ugh.

4. Very happy to see Demian Bichir in the race. I was hoping for it, and I think he gives one of the best performances this year in "A Better Life". Well-deserved sir.

5. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo gets 5 nods, all in technical categories except for Rooney Mara in actress, but is snubbed in screenplay, director, and Picture. You gotta wonder how many people didn't even wanna see it, knowing what kind of movie there were in for.

6. J.C. Chandor scoring a nod for his screenplay to Margin Call is awesome. I had it listed as a possibility, but didn't think it'd actually have a chance. But it is one of the better films of the year, with an amazing cast, and a very sharply written script. The film was mostly overlooked by the public this year. I didn't even hear about it here in ATL until it was already on DVD. But it's worthy, so check it out if you haven't.

7. Damn you sound categories!!! Only 3/5 in both, and that's including my alternate choices! 2/5 and 1/5 without? Ouch! Oh, and I apparently still suck as predicting Makeup. Haven't gotten more than 1 choice right for 3 years running now. Ouch again!

8. Haven't heard of A Cat in Paris and/or Chico & Rita? You have now. I unfortunately didn't predict it to happen, but I did mention them both as outside chances. Both films now finds themselves in the Animated Feature race. Tintin was lost at sea. Arthur Christmas was left in the cold. Winnie the Pooh got lost in the woods.....you get the point.

9. Seriously, if this is the type of ridiculousness they're going to do in the Song category, just cancel the category at this point. How can you only have 2 nominees? 2? It already sucked back in 2006 & 2008 when you had 3. But 2??? You know when this has happened before in Oscar history? NEVER.  Literally, we've NEVER had only 2 nominees. The only plus side is that it pretty much guarantees a win for The Muppets.

10. The fact that Project Nim and Buck aren't in the Documentary race may be one of the worst snubs in the entire year. Both are wonderful, both are deserving, and both got snubbed. Oh, and Project Nim was the perceived "frontrunner".

11. Happy to see 3 nods for the final film in the Harry Potter series, and hopefully they can capitalize on at least 1 of the 3. Hard to believe this series has never won an Oscar. Best chance has to be Makeup, as I feel Art Direction & Visual Effects are already pretty sewn up.

A few final things I'm sad for....
  • Still never a nomination in the X-Men series.
  • Mission: Impossible got nothing.
  • Super 8 missed entirely, even after getting nods from both sound guilds.
  • I called it correct that there would be a film up for Editing that wasn't also up for Picture, something that hadn't happened in 3 years. But I said it would be Drive...It was Dragon Tattoo.
  • Shailene Woodley was snubbed for The Descendants. And she might be the performance I'm most sad about missing. One of my favs of the year.
  • Shame was shut out. Wrong.

Ok, enough ranting and raving for now. Gotta head out to a screening soon. What a day!

Monday, January 23, 2012

FINAL PREDICTIONS - OSCAR NOMINATIONS 2011 - ALL CATEGORIES

Here we are again. Now in the...10th year I'll been officially doing this, and it all comes down to tomorrow's announcement. May I just say that this year has been quite the hard one to fill out. It feels like in almost every category we have a full locks, and the rest is a turkey shoot. I mean in literally EVERY CATEGORY. Last year, between my picks and my alternates, I got 99/106 correct. I'm hoping for the best, but have absolutely no feeling that I'm going to come anywhere close to that. But that's what makes every new film season fun, entertaining, and frustrating. There's always those few films that either give too much credit, or not enough. There's always surprises, always snubs, and always great races. So here we go. My predictions for the 84th Oscars, for the year of 2011.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
The shortlist of finalists left off several of the most popular choices with the critics this year, mainly "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" and "Page One: Inside the New York Times". Sad to see them left on the shelf, but we deal with what we have. A few choices have sorta, kinda surged to the lead, but really, this is anyone's guess. This is only the 2nd year I'm predicting this category.

Predictions
Buck
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
Pina
Project Nim
Undefeated

Alternates
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
We Were Here

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Again, in this category, we have several films left off the finalist list, including previously recognized released from Brazil, China, France, and most surprisingly, "Le Havre" from Finland, "Where Do We Go Now" from Lebanon, and "Miss Bala" from Mexico. Although it kinda feels like this year's race may be already sewn up, who knows what will happen. The front-runner, by a mile, is "A Separation" from Iran. It's picked up more awards than the other films I'm predicting, COMBINED. "Pina", out of Germany, is also a film I'm predicting in Documentary as well, so it should find a home here as well, as it's one of the best of the year in both races. Poland's "In Darkness" has made waves as well.

Predictions
Bullhead - Iran
Footnote - Israel
In Darkness - Poland
Pina - Germany
A Separation - Iran

Alternates
Monsieur Lazhar
Warriors of the Rainbow

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
Always one of the toughest to predict since there's very little to go on. I feel "The Muppets" should score at least one if not two nods here (since that's the max allowed). Also, turns from several music stars, including Elton John & Sinead O'Connor, should also find themselves in the mix.

Predictions
"Hello Hello" - Gnomeo & Juliet
"Lay Your Head Down" - Albert Nobbs
"Life's a Happy Song" - The Muppets
"The Living Proof" - The Help
"Man or Muppet" - The Muppets

Alternates
"Coeur Volant" - Hugo
"Pictures in My Head" - The Muppets

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
I feel pretty secure in a few of these choices, mainly The Artist, War Horse, and Hugo. After that, it gets a little fuzzier. Alexandre Desplat had not 1 but 2 great scores this year, with both the final Harry Potter film, and his work on Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. And after their victory last year for Social Network, could Ross & Reznor find themselves invited to the show again? Their work in Dragon Tattoo is certainly good enough. Also, Alberto Iglesias' work in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is some of the best of the year, albeit some of the most understated at times.

Predictions
The Artist
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Hugo
War Horse

Alternates
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

BEST MAKEUP
With the finalist list of 7 released from the Academy, there are only a few films that still stand a chance here. Although I must point out that this has been one of my weakest categories predicting for about 3 years running. Hopefully I can turn that around this year. The HP series has never been recognized here, but from all the injury wounds, plus the Voldemort and Goblin work, here's hoping. The Hugo tidal wave could carry it thru here, and in a battle between two leading lady films with The Iron Lady and Albert Nobbs, I'm sticking my neck out and saying that they cancel each other out, leaving another tech nod available for The Artist. But who knows? Even Gainsbourg has a good shot.

Predictions
The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Hugo

Alternates
Albert Nobbs
The Iron Lady

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Tough to narrow this category down from the finalist list, but I feel that Harry Potter, Hugo, and Apes are all safe. Then it gets tougher. The work in the latest Transformers was, imo, far better than the 2nd film, where it missed out. And the visual effects society surprisingly (but deservedly), went with Pirates 4 in their main category. Although this could mean that the effects in Captain America, Mission Impossible, X-Men, and Tree of Life may be shut out. Honestly, nothing showing up here would surprise me too much.

Predictions
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Hugo
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Alternates
Captain America: The First Avenger
The Tree of Life

BEST SOUND EDITING
Another very difficult category to predict, without the widespread range in precursor awards. Also, maybe times (but not always), it matches up decently well with the Sound Mixing category. After finding a home in both Foley and ADR categories with the Sound Editors Guild (MPSE), I think that Apes, Super 8, and War Horse should settle in here. This might also be a place to award a nod to two of the most entertaining action movies of the year, Mission Impossible and Fast Five. Although many other choices wait in the wings for their chance as well, including Drive and Dragon Tattoo.

Predictions
Fast Five
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Super 8
War Horse

Alternates
Drive
Transformers: Dark of the Moon

BEST SOUND MIXING
Sometimes this category and sound editing match up almost perfectly. Sometimes they're way off. This here, I'm going with something in the middle. Hanna scored a surprise and very deserved nod from the CAS. And though HP and War Horse didn't, they have showed up on almost every precursor sound category so far.

Predictions
Hanna
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Hugo
Super 8
War Horse

Alternates
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Transformers: Dark of the Moon

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
This year's race should be dominated by period films. The harder part is deciding which ones. The Artist should ride it's momentum to a nod here, as should the Parisian work of Hugo. The Help's southern period dress could also appear here, the only tech category I'm predicting it in. My Week with Marilyn showed up in several precursors, but missed with the CDG. And in a battle of English history, Jane Eyre's garb has been the most awarded, over it's also-deserving competition of Anonymous and W.E. If the Academy chooses to go for fantasy, both Pirates and Harry Potter could find a surprise nod here too. Not one of the easier categories to predict this year.

Predictions
The Artist
The Help
Hugo
Jane Eyre
My Week with Marilyn

Alternates
Anonymous
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

BEST ART DIRECTION
If there is one nomination, in any category, that I feel most secure about, it is Dante Ferretti's work in Hugo for art direction. It is the one to beat this year. This is another category however that feels very wide open in it's possibilities. Series films such as Harry Potter and Pirates have shown up here in the past, and very well could again. Especially Potter, in my opinion, due to the immense Hogwarts battle scenes. The Artist, like Hugo, brings back memories of a long lost time in Hollywood, partly to it's art direction. The rest is really a crap shoot.

Predictions
The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Hugo
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
War Horse

Alternates
Anonymous
Midnight in Paris

BEST FILM EDITING
One of the most important categories, as films that fail to land a nod here practically never had a realistic shot to win Best Picture, even if they nominated for the big one. Although they do like to throw in deserving nods here as sometimes consolation prizes (Collateral in 04, Almost Famous in 00, Memento in 01, Bourne and Diving Bell in 07). In fact, the last film to be nominated here and NOT for Best Picture, was The Dark Knight back in 08, so it's been a few years of Best Picture domination in this category. That said, I'm giving 4 of the 5 slots to also predicted Picture nominees, and going out on a limb with 1 other. No guts, no glory, possible failure.

Predictions
The Artist
Drive
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
War Horse

Alternates
The Descendants
Moneyball

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
To me it really feels like there are only 6 or 7 real possibilities here, unless something comes completely out of left field to stead a nod. The Artist, Hugo, and The Tree of Life seemed locked and loaded. Dragon Tattoo seems like a good bet after scoring with the ASC, so there's only 1 spot left. Could be Drive, could be Tinker Tailor (also an ASC nominee), but I'm going with the sweeping and poetic camerawork of Janusz Kaminski for War Horse. Whether you like the film or not (and I did), you can't deny that it looks like a visual poem.

Predictions
The Artist
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
The Tree of Life
War Horse

Alternates
Drive
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Enough films were released this year for us to have 5 nominees, which always makes me happy, as I'm really just a huge kid and love animation. After taking both the Globe and the Producers Guild, Spielberg, Jackson & company should score a nod here with Tintin. Although...could they protest the motion capture technique and snub it? Rango brought a new twist to a classic homage western, and both Kung Fu Panda 2 and Puss in Boots continued the story of their franchises, to admirable results. The last spot for me in the hardest. Arthur Christmas was the best reviewed, and scored a nod with BAFTA. Cars 2 missing would make it the first Pixar EVER to miss a nod here, since the category's inception back in 2001. Quite a run. And a classic made a triumphant return to the screen with this year's traditional animation Winnie the Pooh. And if they want to award something left fields (like Secret of Kells 2 years ago), we could here A Cat in Paris or more likely Chico & Rita called out. Tough category.

Predictions
The Adventures of Tintin
Arthur Christmas
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
Rango

Alternates
Cars 2
Winnie the Pooh

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
4 of these choices seem like done and done choices. Moneyball, Descendants, and Hugo have shown up on winner lists again and again, and The Help has been right behind them. Again, the hard part is picking the last one. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo scores a WGA nod, and Tinker Tailor snatched a Bafta look here, with one of the best spy stories in years. Then you have the quick dialogue of The Ides of March (another Clooney nod?), and the most overlookedly but worthy A Dangerous Method. And then, finally, you have the schmaltzy, but heart tugging War Horse. My head says Dragon Tattoo, my heart goes to the horse...by a nose.

Predictions
The Descendants
The Help
Hugo
Moneyball
War Horse

Alternates
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The Artist and Midnight in Paris are locks here, and the easiest to call. The huge guild support and big box-office of Bridesmaids could help it find a home here. And the good reviews for 50/50 make it a very possible contender for a nod. But this category is CROWDED, with no less than 5 more worthy films besides those already mentioned, including Mike Mills brilliant Beginners, J.C. Chandor's debut Margin Call, Diablo Cody's Young Adult, and Tom McCarthy's equally brilliant Win Win. But, in a nod to a film that won't likely show up anyway else other than Foreign Film, I'm going with the Iranian drama A Separation, which has taken home several awards in this category this year.

Predictions
50/50
The Artist
Bridesmaids
Midnight in Paris
A Separation

Alternates
Win Win
Young Adult

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Let me say this now. Berenice Bejo's work in The Artist is brilliant, is award-worthy, and is a CO-LEAD. But that said, she will find a spot here instead. The Help will very likely be the newest film in the club of having 2 nominees in the same acting category. Octavia Spencer has snatched up several big prizes already, and Jessica Chastain's amazing year (no less than 4 amazing performances) should be rewarded here as well, as long as she doesn't cancel each other out. Janet McTeer was a nominee back in 1999, and hasn't been in the race since, but if the Academy goes for Albert Nobbs, she could easily find herself nominated here. As could Carey Mulligan, who was fantastic in both Drive and Shame. But she was just nominated 2 years ago. Too much, too young, too soon? Melissa McCarthy has been a standout in the Bridesmaids clan, and she won an Emmy earlier this year, so she's still riding her wave of popularity. And though she's waned as of late in the awards race, I think the admiration for The Descendants could bring the very deserving Shailene Woodley back into the race, and make here the latest Clooney co-star to be nominated alongside.

Predictions
Berenice Bejo - "The Artist"
Jessica Chastain - "The Help"
Melissa McCarthy - "Bridesmaids"
Octavia Spencer - "The Help"
Shailene Woodley - "The Descendants"

Alternates
Janet McTeer - "Albert Nobbs"
Carey Mulligan - "Shame"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Very confident in 3 of these choices, those being Branagh, Brooks, and Plummer. Then is gets rough. I never ever thought I would type this sentence, but Jonah Hill might be an Oscar nominee. That is just weird to me, although I thought he was very good in Moneyball. And while I wouldn't mind hearing Nick Nolte's name announced for Warrior (one of the best films this year that not many people saw), I'm throwing out a No Guts, No Glory call for Patton Oswalt in Young Adult. He is the glue that held that film, and the hot mess of Charlize Theron's character in it, together. Also, did you catch his speech at the Critics Choice? Hilarious.

Predictions
Kenneth Branagh - "My Week with Marilyn"
Albert Brooks - "Drive"
Jonah Hill - "Moneyball"
Patton Oswalt - "Young Adult"
Christopher Plummer - "Beginners"

Alternates
Armie Hammer - "J. Edgar"
Nick Nolte - "Warrior"

BEST ACTRESS
Another case of confidence in 3 choices, as Streep, Davis, and Williams are locks. But this is the most crowded of all the acting categories. The list of worthy choices goes on and on, and contains everyone from Elizabeth Olsen for Martha Marcy May Marlene, to Charlize Theron for Young Adult. From Rooney Mara for Dragon Tattoo, to Olivia Colman in Tyrannosaur, to Kristen Wiig for Bridesmaids. But I'm rounding out my choices with former winner Tilda Swinton, for her subdued work as the mother of a school-shooting child, and Glenn Close, who should snag her first nod in years as a woman pretending to be a man for work, and life, purposes.

Predictions
Glenn Close - "Albert Nobbs"
Viola Davis - "The Help"
Meryl Streep - "The Iron Lady"
Tilda Swinton - "We Need to Talk About Kevin"
Michelle Williams - "My Week with Marilyn"

Alternates
Elizabeth Olsen - "Martha Marcy May Marlene"
Charlize Theron - "Young Adult"

BEST ACTOR
Another 3 locks. Clooney and Pitt give career-best performances, and The Artist himself, Jean Dujardin, will dance his way to a nomination. Will the NC-17 rating make voters shy away from Shame, or will it make them watch it even quicker. Either way, if enough people see it, Michael Fassbender's amazing year (4 great performances) should find reward here. Demian Bichir broke my heart in A Better Life, of the best of the year, and DiCaprio is always a possibility, especially teamed up with a director like Clint Eastwood, but after the outpouring of Bafta love for Tinker Tailor, I'm going for another No Guts, No Glory pick and say that Gary Oldman FINALLY captures his first ever nomination. One of the greatest actors to never have heard his name called.

Predictions
George Clooney - "The Descendants"
Jean Dujardin - "The Artist"
Michael Fassbender - "Shame"
Gary Oldman - "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
Brad Pitt - "Moneyball"

Alternates
Demian Bichir - "A Better Life"
Leonardo DiCaprio - "J. Edgar"

BEST DIRECTOR
I'm going with a 4/5 match from the DGA. Hazanavicius, Payne and Scorsese are locked, locked, locked, and Woody Allen is pretty damn close to it himself for his best film in years, and his biggest box-office film of his career. Then I see it as a close race between 3 men. The Tree of Life is truly a Director's film, and if the Academy sees it that way, Terrence Malick could be around come Oscar time. David Fincher was a surprise DGA nod, but after losing for The Social Network last year, could they try to make it up to him with another nomination? Or will Spielberg find his name called for the 2nd time this year, after his nod for Tintin, with a director nod of his own for War Horse.

Predictions
Woody Allen - "Midnight in Paris"
Michel Hazanavicius - "The Artist"
Alexander Payne - "The Descendants"
Martin Scorsese - "Hugo"
Steven Spielberg - "War Horse"

Alternates
David Fincher - "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
Terrence Malick - "The Tree of Life"

BEST PICTURE
The hardest part is picking where the cut off line is going to be, as we don't yet have any clue how many films will be chosen this year. If it were 5, I would be more confident. If it were 10, I would be more confident. Could it be either of those? Possible. Not probable, but possible. So, just to shoot for the middle of the road, I'm going with.......8 choices. Artist, Descendants, Help, Hugo, and Midnight would be my picks for just 5. Like I said, the hardest part is finding the cutoff.
Several films made big splashes in the race, and could be a surprise nod, such as Drive & The Tree of Life, but for my 8 choices, I'm going with...

Predictions
The Artist
The Descendants
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Help
Hugo
Midnight in Paris
Moneyball
War Horse

Alternates
Bridesmaids
Drive
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
The Tree of Life

Friday, January 20, 2012

Predix in the works

After the hectic season of precursor awards, film critics groups, and screenings, it all comes down to this. I am working on my final nomination predictions, and like I've done for the last 2 years, will be providing commentary for my choices in 21 of the 24 Oscar categories. Stayed tuned for them to be up. In process soon, but online soon.

Awards - Motion Picture Sound Editors

The final guild to announce every year, and I think this may be the first time they announce before the Oscar nods are announced??? I seem to remember they always being the day after. But anyways, here are the nominees, in 7 categories, for the Sound Editors Guild. The biggest award to watch for prediction purposes is Sound Effects & Foley, and also maybe Dialogue and ADR. Keep in mind all these categories have to do with Sound Editing specifically (ex. Editing of Original Music, not the score itself).

BEST SOUND EFFECTS AND FOLEY IN A FEATURE FILM
Drive
Fast Five
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Super 8
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse

BEST DIALOGUE AND ADR IN A FEATURE FILM
Abduction
The Help
Moneyball
Quarantine II: Terminal
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Super 8
War Horse
The Way

BEST MUSIC IN A FEATURE FILM
Drive
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hop
Hugo
Priest
Super 8
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
The Tree of Life

BEST MUSIC IN A MUSICAL FEATURE FILM
Footloose
The Muppets
Perfect Age of Rock 'n' Roll
Pina

BEST SOUND EDITING IN A FEATURE ANIMATED FILM
The Adventures of Tintin
Cars 2
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
Rango
Rio
The Smurfs

BEST SOUND EDITING IN A FEATURE FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
1920. The World's Most Important Battle
Circumstance
The Flower of War
In the Land of Bloody and Honey
Sarah's Key
The Skin I Live In
Tropa de Elite 2 (Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within)

BEST SOUND EDITING IN A FEATURE DOCUMENTARY
Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
George Harrison: Living in the Material World
Lemmy
Pearl Jam Twenty

London Film Critics winners

After announcing their nominees last month, the London Film Critics have announced their winners. Taking the top award was, surprise surprise, The Artist, which also took home wins for Director and Actor.

Film of the Year:  THE ARTIST
British Film of the Year:  WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN
Director of the Year:  MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS - "THE ARTIST"
Actor of the Year:  JEAN DUJARDIN - "THE ARTIST"
British Actor of the Year:  MICHAEL FASSBENDER - "A DANGEROUS METHOD" & "SHAME"
Actress of the Year:  ANNA PAQUIN - "MARGARET" & MERYL STREEP "THE IRON LADY" (TIE)
British Actress of the Year:  OLIVIA COLMAN - "THE IRON LADY" & "TYRANNOSAUR"
Supporting Actor of the Year:  KENNETH BRANAGH - "MY WEEK WITH MARILYN"
Supporting Actress of the Year:  SAREH BAYAT - "A SEPARATION"
Screenwriter of the Year:  "A SEPARATION" - ASGHAR FARHADI
Foreign Language Film of the Year:  A SEPARATION
Documentary of the Year:  SENNA
Breakthrough British Filmmaker:  ANDREW HAIGH - "WEEKEND"
Young British Performer of the Year:  CRAIG ROBERTS - "SUBMARINE"
Technical Achievement of the Year:  MARIA DJURKOVIC - "TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY" - PRODUCTION DESIGN

Awards - Costume Designers Guild (CDG)

As always, we have 15 films nominated for the Costume Design, in 3 different categories. The most "noticeable" costume are usually found in the Period category, but we also have Fantasy and Contemporary as well. 
We have a few surprises this year, most noticeably for films that were left out for more than films that were included in the nominees. The big snubs, in my opinion, would be the lack of Anonymous and My Week with Marilyn, particularly Marilyn, since it had shown up in many precursor awards so far.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN (PERIOD)

THE ARTIST
Mark Bridges


THE HELP
Sharen Davis

HUGO
Sandy Powell

JANE EYRE
Michael O'Connor

W.E.
Arianne Phillips

BEST COSTUME DESIGN (FANTASY FILM)


HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART 2
Jany Temime

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES
Penny Rose

RED RIDING HOOD
Cindy Evans

THOR
Alexandra Byrne

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
Sammy Sheldon

BEST COSTUME DESIGN (CONTEMPORARY)

BRIDESMAIDS
Leesa Evans & Christine Wada

THE DESCENDANTS
Wendy Chuck


DRIVE
Erin Benach

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
Trish Summerville

MELANCHOLIA
Manon Rasmussen

Awards - Cinema Audio Society (CAS)

The sound mixers guild has released their nominees for the year. A few surprises (Hanna deservedly in, Moneyball in too???). Still expect a few other films to be in the running at the oscars here, but here are the 2011 choices from the CAS.


HANNA
Production Mixer: Roland Winke
Re-recording Mixers: Christopher Scarabosio & Craig Berkey, CAS
Scoring Mixer: Andrew Dudman


HUGO
Production Mixer: John Midgley
Re-recording Mixer: Tom Fleischman, CAS
Scoring Mixer: Simon Rhodes


MONEYBALL
Production Mixer: Ed Novick
Re-recording Mixers: Deb Adair, CAS; Ron Bochar, CAS; David Giammarco
Scoring Mixer: Brad Haenel


PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES
Production Mixer: Lee Orloff, CAS
Re-recording Mixers: Paul Massey, CAS & Chris Boyes
Scoring Mixer: Alan Meyerson


SUPER 8
Production Mixer: Mark Ulano, CAS
Re-recording Mixers: Tom Johnson, Andy Nelson & Anna Behlmer
Scoring Mixer: Dan Wallin

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Oscar - 9 Foreign Language Film finalists

The Academy has released the final shortlist for this year's foreign language film prize. From the 9 remaining films, which has been whittled down from the original list of 63 entries, 5 films will become nominees on Tuesday morning. The finalists are...
  • Belgium - "Bullhead" - Michael A. Roskam, director
  • Canada - "Monsieur Lazhar" - Philippe Falardeau, director
  • Denmark - "Superclasico" - Ole Christian Madsen, director
  • Germany - "Pina" - Wim Wenders, director
  • Iran - "A Separation" - Asghar Farhadi, director
  • Israel - "Footnote" - Joseph Cedar, director
  • Morocco - "Omar Killed Me" - Roschdy Zem, director
  • Poland - "In Darkness" - Agnieszka Holland, director
  • Taiwan - "Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale" - Wei Te-sheng, director

News - Michelle Williams in GQ

Already in hot contention for this year's Oscar for "My Week with Marilyn", Michelle Williams is also on the cover of this month's GQ magazine. Already a two-time nominee, and a practical guarantee for a third on Tuesday, don't think this spread won't make some voters take notice. She hasn't shown herself as sexy as this since her Dawson's Creek days! Coming across as bombshell as Marilyn herself, Michelle is oozing sexuality in every shot. Is there any better reason to post these pics? Oh, and you're welcome. :-P





Awards - BAFTA Awards

The British Film Academy, or BAFTA, have released their nominees for this year's awards. England's version of the Oscars is arguably one of the biggest awards in film besides the Academy Awards, and many times a strong showing across the pond will show up in the Oscar race as well, due to the high crossover of voters. I remember back in 2008 when The Reader made a surprise appearance on the BAFTA list, and then showed up on the roster here in the U.S. as well. So don't count out the power of the Brits.


Leading the way this year is The Artist with 12 nominations. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy follows close behind with 11, Hugo taking 9 (without a nod for Picture!?!?), My Week with Marilyn pulling in 6, and The Help & War Horse each scoring 5. The possibly surprise party crasher besides Tinker? Drive, which scored nods in both Best Picture and Best Director.

BEST FILM
The Artist
The Descendants
Drive
The Help
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy


BEST DIRECTOR
Tomas Alfredson - "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
Michel Hazanavicius - "The Artist"
Lynne Ramsay - "We Need to Talk About Kevin"
Nicolas Winding-Refn - "Drive"
Martin Scorsese - "Hugo"


BEST ACTOR
George Clooney - "The Descendants"
Jean Dujardin - "The Artist"
Michael Fassbender - "Shame"
Gary Oldman - "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
Brad Pitt - "Moneyball"


BEST ACTRESS
Berenice Bejo - "The Artist"
Viola Davis - "The Help"
Meryl Streep - "The Iron Lady"
Tilda Swinton - "We Need to Talk About Kevin"
Michelle Williams - "My Week with Marilyn"


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Kenneth Branagh - "My Week with Marilyn"
Jim Broadbent - "The Iron Lady"
Jonah Hill - "Moneyball"
Philip Seymour Hoffman - "The Ides of March"
Christopher Plummer - "Beginners"


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jessica Chastain - "The Help"
Judi Dench - "My Week with Marilyn"
Melissa McCarthy - "Bridesmaids"
Carey Mulligan - "Drive"
Octavia Spencer - "The Help"

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The Artist
Bridesmaids
The Guard
The Iron Lady
Midnight in Paris

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Descendants
The Help
The Ides of March
Moneyball
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

BEST ANIMATED FILM
The Adventures of Tintin
Arthur Christmas
Rango

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
The Artist
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
War Horse


BEST FILM EDITING
The Artist
Drive
Hugo
Senna
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy


BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Hugo
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
War Horse


BEST COSTUME DESIGN
The Artist
Hugo
Jane Eyre
My Week with Marilyn
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy


BEST SOUND
The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Hugo
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
War Horse


BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
The Adventures of Tintin
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Hugo
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
War Horse


BEST MAKEUP & HAIR
The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Hugo
The Iron Lady
My Week with Marilyn


BEST ORIGINAL MUSIC
The Artist
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
War Horse


BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Incendies
Pina
Potiche
A Separation
The Skin I Live In


BEST DOCUMENTARY
George Harrison: Living in the Material World
Project Nim
Senna


BEST SHORT FILM
Chalk
Mwansa the Great
Only Sound Remains
Pitch Black Heist
Two and Two


BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Abuelas
Bobby Yeah
A Morning Stroll


BEST BRITISH FILM
My Week with Marilyn
Senna
Shame
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
We Need to Talk About Kevin


BEST DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
Attack the Block - Joe Cornish (Director/Writer)
Black Pond - Will Sharpe (Director/Writer), Tom Kingsley (Director), Sarah Brocklehurst (Producer)
Coriolanus - Ralph Fiennes (Director)
Submarine - Richard Ayoade (Director/Writer)
Tyrannosaur - Paddy Considine (Director), Diarmid Scrimshaw (Producer)


ORANGE WEDNESDAYS RISING STAR AWARD
Adam Deacon
Chris Hemsworth
Tom Hiddleston
Chris O'Dowd
Eddie Redmayne


FULL LIST OF MULTIPLE NOMINEES

12 - The Artist

11 - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

9 - Hugo

6 - My Week with Marilyn

5 - The Help
5 - War Horse

4 - Drive
4 - The Iron Lady
4 - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2


3 - The Descendants
3 - Moneyball
3 - Senna
3 - We Need to Talk About Kevin


2 - Shame
2 - The Ides of March
2 - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
2 - Bridesmaids
2 - The Adventures of Tintin

Monday, January 16, 2012

Awards - Film Editors Guild (ACE Eddie)

The 62nd Annual ACE Eddie Awards have announced their nominees, covering both film and television. In the film categories, we have Drama, Comedy/Musical, Animated, and Documentary. Editing is ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS an important category to watch, as good editing is rarely rewarded to films that don't stand a chance elsewhere.


BEST FILM EDITING (DRAMATIC)



THE DESCENDANTS
Kevin Tent, ACE



THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
Angus Wall, ACE & Kirk Baxter, ACE



HUGO
Thelma Schoonmaker, ACE



MONEYBALL
Christopher Tellefsen, ACE



WAR HORSE
Michael Kahn, ACE




BEST FILM EDITING (COMEDY/MUSICAL)



THE ARTIST
Anne-Sophie Bion & Michel Hazanavicius



BRIDESMAIDS
William Kerr & Michael L. Sale



MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
Alisa Lepselter



MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
Adam Recht

YOUNG ADULT
Dana E. Glauberman, ACE




BEST FILM EDITING (ANIMATED FEATURE)



THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN
Michael Kahn, ACE


PUSS IN BOOTS
Eric Dapkewicz



RANGO
Craig Wood, ACE



BEST FILM EDITING (DOCUMENTARY)


CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS
Joe Bini & Maya Hawke


FREEDOM RIDERS
Lewis Erskine & Aljernon Tunsil


GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD
David Tedeschi

Golden Globe winners

Last night the Hollywood Foreign Press gave out the annual Golden Globe Awards, which Ricky Gervais back hosting the show. No huge surprises in the winners, except possibly in Animated Feature, as Tintin took home it's first major award of the year. And the winners are...

BEST PICTURE (DRAMA):  The Descendants
BEST PICTURE (COMEDY/MUSICAL):  The Artist
BEST DIRECTOR:  Martin Scorsese - "Hugo"
BEST ACTOR (DRAMA):  George Clooney - "The Descendants"
BEST ACTOR (MUSICAL/COMEDY):  Jean Dujardin - "The Artist"
BEST ACTRESS (DRAMA):  Meryl Streep - "The Iron Lady"
BEST ACTRESS (MUSICAL/COMEDY):  Michelle Williams - "My Week with Marilyn"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:  Christopher Plummer - "Beginners"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:  Octavia Spencer - "The Help"
BEST SCREENPLAY:  Midnight in Paris
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE:  The Adventures of Tintin  !!!!
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:  The Artist
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:  "Masterpiece" - W.E.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:  A Separation

Saturday, January 14, 2012

News - Skyfall first pic
















The first picture from the next James Bond film, SKYFALL, has leaked online. Enjoy.

Brodcast Film Critics (Critics Choice) Winners!

The Broadcast Film Critics held their annual awards a few days ago. One of my favorite award groups of the year, the Critics Choice awards were shown live on VH1, and you can find it on demand, category by category, on vh1's website as well if you missed it. Here were the big winners!

BEST PICTURE:  The Artist
BEST DIRECTOR:  Michel Hazanavicius - "The Artist"
BEST ACTOR:  George Clooney - "The Descendants"
BEST ACTRESS:  Viola Davis - "The Help"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:  Christopher Plummer - "Beginners"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:  Octavia Spencer - "The Help"
BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE:  The Help
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:  Midnight in Paris
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:  Moneyball
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE:  Rango
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:  The Tree of Life & War Horse (tie)
BEST FILM EDITING:  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
BEST ART DIRECTION:  Hugo
BEST COSTUME DESIGN:  The Artist
BEST SOUND:  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:  Rise of the Planet of the Apes
BEST MAKEUP:  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:  The Artist
BEST ORIGINAL SONG:  "Life's a Happy Song" - The Muppets
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:  A Separation
BEST DOCUMENTARY:  George Harrison: Living in the Material World
BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS:  Thomas Horn - "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"
BEST ACTION FILM:  Drive
BEST COMEDY FILM:  Bridesmaids

Friday, January 13, 2012

Awards - USC Scripter Award

The USC Scripter is a bit of a special award each year. It is the only award I can think of that is actually awarded not only to the adapted screenplay, but also to the original source material the adaptation comes from, be it another film, book, play, or short story. This year we find a few unexpected choices thrown in with the usual suspects of Descendants and Moneyball.

A DANGEROUS METHOD
Christopher Hampton
Adapted from the nonfiction book A Most Dangerous Method: The Story of Jung, Freud, and Sabina Spielrein by John Kerr and the 2002 stage play The Talking Cure by Hampton

THE DESCENDANTS
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
Adapted from Kaui Hart Hemmings' novel (itself an expansion of her first published short story, The Minor Wars)

JANE EYRE
Moira Buffini
Adapted from the 1847 book by Charlotte Bronte

MONEYBALL
Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin & Stan Chervin
Based on Michael Lewis' book, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game


TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY
Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan
Based on the novel by John le Carre

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Awards - American Society of Cinematographers (ASC)

The cinematography guild has released their nominees, and we have another blow to War Horse and another mention for Dragon Tattoo! Cinematography has always been and will always be my favorite technical category. So naturally, this is the one of the announcements I very much look forward to every year. Here are the five nominees.

JEFF CRONENWETH, ASC
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
***2nd career feature nomination (The Social Network)


HOYTE VAN HOYTEMA, FSF, NSC
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
***1st career feature nomination


EMMANUEL LUBEZKI, ASC, AMC
The Tree of Life
***3rd career feature nomination (Sleepy Hollow; Children of Men)



ROBERT RICHARDSON, ASC
Hugo
***10th career feature nomination (Born on the Fourth of July; JFK; A Few Good Men; Heaven & Earth; The Horse Whisperer; Snow Falling on Cedars; The Aviator; The Good Shepherd; Inglourious Basterds)



GUILLAUME SCHIFFMAN, AFC
The Artist
***1st career feature nomination