I’ve never really done Oscar predictions before. This might turn out to be a real embarrassment once the actual nominations come out, but I figured if everyone else is doing it, I’ll take my chances too.
Last year was the first time that we had ten nominees for best picture. Well, we had that a very long time ago as well, but it’s hard to make a connection between today’s nomination trends and those of the thirties. If last year proved anything, it was that the ten-wide best picture field opens the race up to a larger variety of genres and themes. The nomination of a film like The Blind Side, a rather mediocre crowd pleaser may become a trend in the future; something other bloggers are referring to as the “The Blind Side Spot”. The inclusion of both Avatar and District 9 can be reason to believe the Academy might gradually loosen up toward genre films.
Surprise nominees are bound to pop up later in the year, but at this point in the race, there are a few films that look solid on their path to Kodak theatre. Nonetheless, the race has just started and it looks like the perfect time to begin writing about it.
I’m only predicting the top categories, plus my two favourite categories of cinematography and editing. Maybe in the future I’ll start covering the whole race, but for now, here are my hunches:
(This is far from a favourites list, by the way. So this is not what I want the nominations to turn out like, but this is what I think it will be.)
1- The Social Network
2- Toy Story 3
3- The King’s Speech
4- 127 Hours
5- True Grit
7- The Kids Are All Right
8- Winter’s Bone
9- Fair Game
10- Another Year
Almost predicted: The Way Back
The first five are what I’m most certain about given festival reaction and critical and public approval. Inception’s nomination will depend on the genre bias, but then again, if Avatar is not too sci-fi, how could Inception be?
The Kids Are All Right came out in the summer but it’s still very much in the conversation, even if it’s mostly surrounding Bening and Moore’s performances. The last three are kind of shaky. They look better to me on paper than any other film does. Another Year and The Way Back both have release date problems. Will it prove to be too little too late? Only time can tell. Does Ben Affleck’s The Town have enough pull to grab a nomination? What other category can you see it nominated though? Is Secretariat too middle-brow for a best picture nomination or is there really going to be a “Blind Side Spot”?
1- David Fincher (The Social Network)
2- Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech)
3- Danny Boyle (127 Hours)
4- Christopher Nolan (Inception)
5- Joel & Ethan Coen (True Grit)
Almost predicted: Peter Weir (The Way Back)
I assume Christopher Nolan was very close to being in the top five two years ago. Maybe this time he will finally crack the list. The Coen Brothers usually do fantastic work and True Grit, at least from the trailer looks like another hit.
Best Screenplay Original
1- Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech)
2- Christopher Nolan (Inception)
3- Lisa Cholodenko, Stuart Bloomberg (The Kids Are All Right)
4- Mike Leigh (Another Year)
5- Bill Ivory (Made in Dagenham)
Almost predicted: Sofia Coppola (Somewhere)
The only one I’m a little sceptic about is Made in Dagenham. I wonder if it’s really going to be a big hit in the States. If not, what’s gonna take its spot? Somewhere? Blue Valentine? The Fighter?
Best Screenplay Adapted
1- Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network)
2- Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3)
3- Joel & Ethan Coen (True Grit)
4- Danny Boyle (127 Hours)
5- Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone)
Almost Predicted: Peter Weir (The Way Back)
This category looks like a slam dunk for Aaron Sorkin.
1- Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right)
2- Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
3- Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone)
4- Lesley Manville (Another Year)
5- Naomi Watts (Fair Game)
Almost predicted: Sally Hawkins/ Nicole Kidman (Made in Dagenham/ Rabbit Hole)
Can they both get in?
This is really the hardest category to predict. Except for the top two, everyone else could potentially be a nominee. The precursors should give us a better view.
1- Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)
2- James Franco (127 Hours)
3- Jeff Bridges (True Grit)
4- Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)
5- Javier Bardem (Biutiful)
Almost predicted: Robert Duvall (Get Low)
Colin Firth looks like the winner to me this year. He’s got leftover momentum from last year’s nomination. He’s a movie that is clearly well-liked by the audiences and critics alike and is a front-runner for best picture, which never hurts. The fifth spot is really the most uncertain, but I haven’t seen Bardem or Duvall yet so I’ll hold off for now.
Best Supporting Actress
1- Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech)
2- Miranda Richardson (Made in Dagenham)
3- Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom)
4- Diane Wiest (Rabbit Hole)
5- Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
Almost predicted: Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)
Unlike lead actress, no one really looks like a nominee here. Jacki Weaver’s campaign has apparently started already and having seen her film, I’m definitely on her side for a nomination. None of the other major players in this race have been seen by the public yet. Maybe in a month, we’ll have a better picture.
Best Supporting Actor
1- Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech)
2- Christian Bale (The Fighter)
3- Andrew Garfield (The Social Network)
4- Matt Damon (True Grit)
5- Sam Rockwell (Conviction)
Almost predicted: Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right)
Three overdue actors. Can we see all of them at once?
I have a feeling the final would definitely come out of these six. No one else looks as likely to me, but Rush looks like the only sure-fire nominee here.
1- Roger Deakins (True Grit)
2- Jeff Cronenweth (The Social Network)
3- Enrique Chediak, Anthony Dod Mantle (127 Hours)
4- Wally Pfister (Inception)
5- Matthew Libatique (Black Swan)
Almost predicted: Russel Boyd (The Way Back)
Just give Deakins his Oscar already. What’s the man gotta do?
But luckily, my most favourite cinematographer looks to be on the right path to his (MUCH delayed) first win, and I’m not the only one who thinks so.
1- Kirk Baxter, Angus Wall (The Social Network)
2- Lee Smith (Inception)
3- John Harris (127 Hours)
4- Roderick Jaynes (True Grit)
5- Tariq Anwar (King’s Speech)
Almost predicted: Andrew Weisblum (Black Swan)
Best picture nominees usually take up most of this category, so I’m going with those for now. I think The Social Network deserves the Oscar among the films that I’ve seen already, but this post is only about prediction, not preference, so let’s pretend I never said that. Black Swan’s trailer was also superbly edited. Is the film itself the same?