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Oscar Predictions 2011

Posted by: Matthew Turner 18/02/2011 @ 11:12
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 58
Films seen this week: No Strings Attached, Tantric Tourists, Big
Mommas: Like Father, Like Son
, Day For Night, Confessions, Age of the Dragons, Land of the Phoenix, The Rite
FILM OF THE WEEK: Inside Job

Oscar Predictions 2011
So, with the Oscars rapidly approaching (the ceremony is on February 27th), it's time to throw out a few Should Win/Will Win predictions for the main categories (nominees are listed here). My guesses
are:

Best Adapted Screenplay
Should Win/Will Win: Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network
This is the deadest of all dead certs. If Sorkin doesn't win this, something has gone horribly, horribly wrong. That said, the only upset I'd tolerate in this category would be the Coen Brothers winning for True Grit.

Best Original Screenplay
Should Win: Inception, Will Win: The King's Speech
I have nothing against The King's Speech winning, but, really, Inception deserves this, especially as it's unlikely to win anything else save maybe a couple of technical awards.

Best Supporting Actress
Should Win: Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit), Will Win: Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
Don't get me started. Steinfeld is in the wrong category, obviously, and should be up for Best Actress but if she can't have that, I hope she wins this. Melissa Leo was the hot favourite until she released her own controversial For Your Consideration ads and now the smart money apparently favours Steinfeld. I wouldn't bet against her – she does have True Grit, after all.

Best Supporting Actor
Should Win: John Hawkes (Winter's Bone), Will Win: Christian Bale (The Fighter)
It is of course possible that The King's Speech will sweep the lot, in which case Geoffrey Rush should pick up Best Supporting Actor, like he did at the awards I'm not even going to name because they are still giving me RAGE. However, in my own personal Oscar fantasy, Winter's Bone wins everything it was nominated for, including John Hawkes for Best Supporting Actor. I actually did a little whoop of joy when they read out his nomination.

Best Actress
Should Win: Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone), Will Win: Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
Most Oscar-watchers seem to concur that Portman has it in the bag at this point. I am inclined to agree.

Best Actor
Should Win/Will Win: Colin Firth (The King's Speech)
Again, if Firth doesn't win this, something has gone horribly, horribly wrong. Most people seem to agree he should have won last year for A Single Man (when he was beaten by Jeff Bridges) and I think his time has come. I do love both Jesse Eisenberg and Jeff Bridges'
performances though.

Best Animated Film
Should win: How to Train Your Dragon, Will win: Toy Story 3
I actually have a secret theory that How to Train Your Dragon will, in fact, win this category, because voters won't want anything with a “3” in it to win Best Animated Film. However, you should never bet against Pixar, so ...

Best Foreign Film
Should Win: Dogtooth, Will Win: Biutiful
I've only seen these two entries, to be fair but I am rooting for Dogtooth all the way. Come onnnnn, Dogtooth!

Best Documentary
Should Win: Gasland, Will Win: Restrepo
This is a really hard one to call and at the time of writing I still haven't seen Restrepo or Waste Land. I think Gasland should win it just because the subject is so incredibly important but they tend to go for war-based movies in this category so I think Restrepo has it. I'd love to see Exit Through The Gift Shop win though. Who would be Banksy's Sacheen Littlefeather?

Best Director
Should Win: David Fincher (The Social Network), Will Win: Tom Hooper (The King's Speech)
Hooper won the Director's Guild Award recently, so he looks very likely to win this too. I definitely think that Best Film and Best Director will be split between The King's Speech and The Social Network, anyway.

Which brings us to ...

Best Picture
Should Win: The Social Network, Will Win: The Social Network
I am nailing my colours to the mast here and going on record as saying I think The Social Network will win Best Picture, beating out hot favourite The King's Speech. It had better, as I have bet Phil On Film a Breakfast Bap to that effect. My feeling is that The Social Network is an era-defining film and that the Academy won't want to pass up the chance to recognise that, even if the film doesn't get showered with other awards throughout the night. Roll on 27th February.

Films I Am Dying To See: Thor
It is fair to say that when they first announced they were making a Thor movie, I was sceptical at best. I wrote a couple of blog posts about it and linked to pictures like this, saying there was no way to make that costume work and anyway Thor hardly had the same loyal, built-in fanbase that Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk did, not least because Thor comics were often excruciatingly dull affairs full of cod-Shakespearean dialogue.

However, somewhere between the announcement that Kenneth Branagh was down to direct (if anyone can make cod-Shakespearean dialogue work, etc – let's face it, that's almost certainly why he got the gig in the first place) and the release of the first trailer, I did an about-face and I'm now really looking forward to it. The latest trailer, released just this week, concentrates much more on the earthbound elements of the story and as such we get a lot more Natalie Portman (Thor's love interest), a lot more Kat Dennings (Portman's wise-cracking best friend, who gets all the laughs in the trailer – here's hoping she gets a lot more work out of this) and even a little bit of Skellan Skarsgard, who I had no idea was even in it. I'd had issues with Chris Hemsworth (Thor) in the previous trailers but he looks a lot better here and even the Asgard bits look like fun (we get a much better look at Tom Hiddleston as Loki too).

I love the look of The Destroyer, although I'm less keen on the dodgy CGI monster he's fighting at the end. Also, is that My Good Friend Idris Elba as Heimdall at the 2m05sec mark? I believe it is. Lots of hammer action (it's called Mjolnir, you know) in this trailer too. Excellent. Opens here 27th April, apparently, though that can't be right, as that would mean we were getting it over a week ahead of the US. Also, is it wrong to wish it was in good old-fashioned 2D?

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
Considering Valentine's Day was on Monday it's been an unbelievably poor week for new releases this week. Consequently, only one of them makes it into the top ten: Charles Ferguson's excellent financial crisis documentary Inside Job (aka Matt Damon Explains The Financial Crisis). I've dropped NEDs from the list because it's down to one cinema but you can still catch it if you're quick. I'll also put in a good word for stylish Japanese high school horror Confessions, which has a lot to recommend it (FrightFest fans will love it, for example), even if I didn't go quite as crazy for it as others have. I suspect it'll repay multiple watches, anyway, which is more than you can say for the Big Momma's House threequel.

Interview-wise, we have semi-exclusive interviews with Om Puri and Aqib Khan, stars of next week's West Is West. We also still have a semi-exclusive Frost/Pegg interview that was conducted at 8.45am in an RV parked round the back of Claridge's, though I was annoyed to see sections of it reappear verbatim on Film 2011 last week! Who knew they were such good actors? They really made it sound like a natural conversation. Anyway, elsewhere you can still read our excellent round-table interview with Barney's Version star Paul Giamatti, an exclusive one-on-one interview with a remarkably unguarded Donald Sutherland and an even more exclusive interview with ex-Hollyoaks star Roxanne McKee where she mentions (ahem) Game Of Thrones.

1. True Grit
2. The King's Speech
3. Blue Valentine
4. Black Swan
5. Rabbit Hole
6. The Fighter
7. Tangled
8. Never Let Me Go
9. Inside Job
10. Paul

DVD of the Week: The Illusionist (out now, RRP £19.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is the Oscar nominated animated feature The Illusionist, directed by Sylvain Chomet (Belleville Rendezvous) from an original, unproduced script by near-silent French comedian Jacques Tati (Mon Oncle). Set in 1959, the film focuses on stage magician Tatischeff (a tall, gangly, Tati-like figure) who accepts a drunken invitation to play a pub-based gig in a remote village in the Scottish Highlands where he somehow acquires a hanger-on in the form of a young country girl. When Tatischeff moves to Edinburgh, the girl tags along and is soon dazzled by the bustling city life and pining after the expensive clothes she passes in the shop windows. However, when Tatischeff takes pity on her and works hard to buy the things she wants, she thinks he's magicked them out of thin air and begins to take his generosity for granted.

The animation is stunningly beautiful throughout, but it's the recreation of Edinburgh that really takes your breath away, with gorgeous cityscapes and painstakingly accurate street corners complete with the names of actual pubs and hotels. There's virtually no dialogue and the story is light on plot but the character detail is delightful (watch out for Tatischeff's vicious pet rabbit) and it's hard not to be moved by the odd relationship that develops between the two leads. In short, this is an utterly charming film that's a treat for animation fans.

Extras include: a short Behind The Scenes featurette; the trailer; a photo gallery and a lengthy Q&A (at least 70 minutes) with Chomet from the Edinburgh Film Festival. Highly recommended.

Comments

by  Vertigo  18/02/2011 @ 14:20
I think Colin Firth should've won Best Actor for A Single Man, so I'll be glad if he wins an Oscar this year for TKS! I really did enjoy Jeff Bridge's performance in Crazy Heart but perhaps there were other circumstances for the win - overdue? thought he perhaps wouldn't be in a film of calibre to rival CH? Not that he didn't deserve it, just that I thought Colin Firth's performance was better!
by  Stasyab  02/03/2011 @ 11:54
I was hoping until the last moment for The Social Network to take home to gold, but no... To me the King's Speech was nothing special of a film and it saddens me that this sort of thing keeps happening. It seems to me that a huge portion of Oscar voters. who are British, will just vote for anything British, not giving a damn really that it's not the best film of the year. Natalie Portman was outstanding in Black Swan, but not as good as Jennifer Lawrence, and not as deserving as Annette Benning. Colin Firth deserved to win last year, but this year I honestly hated his performance, he made king George seem mentally challenged really... I though it was appalling to be honest. Jesse Eisenberg deserved it 100%, that performance was nothing short of genius. But for some reason, the Academy prefers to honour olden men and younger ladies. The average age of Best Actress recipient is 26!!! As opposed to 40smth for Best Actor. Looks like Annette is never gonna get it...
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