The Academy Awards are still a couple of weeks away. But that does not keep the critics from making predictions. First the list of the ten films nominated for best picture this year; a short synopsis which include a few of Heloise’s predictions and the outcome-whys:
Black Swan Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
The Fighter David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
Inception Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
The Kids Are All Right Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
The King’s Speech Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
127 Hours Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
The Social Network Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
Toy Story 3 Darla K. Anderson, Producer
True Grit Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
Winter’s Bone Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers
Five of the ten films have also been nominated for Screen Actors’ Guild Awards (SAG) airing on January 30, 2011. The five from SAG:The King’s Speech; The Social Network; Black Swan, The Fighter, and The Kids Are All Right. My Top 10 list of films this year includes those SAG nominees and a few others not nominated. But this blog is for the Academy Awards.
The King’s Speech: This film ranked #1 on my top ten list. I pick it to take home a SAG award as well as Oscar for best picture. Why? It has everything including what Academy members look for in a film: true-tale treatment. With a total of 12 nominations it will take home at least five or more, including best picture, best actor for Colin Firth, best directing for Tom Hooper, costume design, and sound mixing. The competition gets a little stiffer in other categories.
Black Swan: The acting in Black Swan was superb. But for me the ballet and the dancing that goes with it was missing. Thus I don’t find it a strong contender for best film. Mila Kunis was overlooked as supporting for Oscar but has been nominated for SAG and could snag it. Swan wins best cinematography.
The Fighter: The fighter is a sleeper. It won’t win best picture but I predict that Melissa Leo wins Supporting Actress, Christian Bale Supporting Actor, Writing (original screenplay). The Figher made my Top 10 list.
Inception: I loved this movie. I reviewed it and heaped praise on it early on by predicting it would be nominated with a Best Picture nod. It could also be a spoiler come Academy day and may keep King’s Speech from sweeping. But it is really a long shot to win best picture. What could it win: best original score, and battle Black Swan for cinematography; win art direction; sound mixing and visual effects all highly possible. None of the cast are nominated.
The Kids Are All Right: This film made my Top 10 with its story line and acting. Three of the cast members are nominated. I don’t see it winning best picture, but I think the buzz is with Bening and she alone will win best actress in a drama. Beyond that is unpredictable IMO.
127 Hours: This is the only nomination I have not seen. I have a problem with torture and stayed away from this film. I put it on my Top 10 list, although I don’t think it has a chance of winning best picture or best actor. It is nominated for adapted screenplay along with The Social Network. But I think Network takes that one..
The Social Network: I’ve seen this film twice. The beginning is by far the best. I don’t see it upsetting SAG awards or Academy. I predict it won’t win best picture for either. Jesse Einsenberg is nominated for best actor but he will leave empty-handed I predict. He has too much competition in James Franco and Colin Firth. And besides he is the only one nominated in this film for acting. Was Justin Timberlake snubbed? What award do I see for The Social Network: best adapted screenplay. The film closely followed the book it was based on.
Toy Story 3: What a funny film. With nice toys taking up arms against sinister ones found in a daycare center. I laughed out loud to my surprise. It’s good and I can see why it was nominated. This Disney film should win best animated feature film.
True Grit: May not be one of the Coen brothers best efforts to date. It may be a make-up nomination not sure. The acting was good, but the story did not hold my interest and the tension and thrill were just not what I expected from the Coens. What can it win is a better question than what will it win?
Winter’s Bone: A dark film with an unforgettable performance by Jennifer Lawrence as the teen who searches for her druggie dad in the dead of winter. Now, if she were not going up against Annette Bening and Natalie Portman then I would say that the buzz is with her. Alas, it’s not.
Post script: I was unable to screen Biutiful with Javier Bardem. He was nominated for actor in a leading role but I don’t think he will win it this year. Costume design to Alice In Wonderland. Film editing: Tariq Anwar for The King’s Speech. Sound editing: Unstoppable, the film I enjoyed most this year. Finally, best Foreign Language Film: Biutiful (Mexico) because of Bardem, can’t wait to see his performance. That last prediction is a long shot because I have not seen any of the best foreign films nominated. But my prediction for best picture this year is not a long shot but a rather articulate film: The King’s Speech.