Saturday, February 26, 2011

Official Oscar Predictions 2011

No Introduction Necessary. This column is all you need for you Oscar pool tomorrow night. Unless you want to win, of course. Then go read a blog from a real Oscar pundit.

Another quick note or two: A) be sure to check out the podcast in the post below with some more Oscar prediction chat. B) I will be tweeting some thoughts tomorrow night, so if you want some cynical insight on the way the night is turning out, then be sure to follow me at

The King's Speech will take
home the big one tomorrow.
Best Picture: The King’s Speech

% Sure: 70

Comments: Unfortunately I feel like I’ve already talked about this ad nauseum on here because of the amount of time I’ve discussed it with friends and read about it online, but I guess I haven’t really gone into detail about it on here yet. But this is the movie that will win tomorrow night, unless a welcome upset from The Social Network shocks the world. This was the movie that made people feel good, and it was a period piece about overcoming a disability, all things the Academy loves. So, there ya go.

Could Win: The Social Network

Should Win: The Social Network

Should Have Been There: Another Year or Blue Valentine

Best Director: David Fincher, The Social Network

% Sure: 51

Comments: On the podcast yesterday I predicted Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech. As of this moment I am hereby switching my vote and going with the conventional wisdom that David Fincher gets his statue tomorrow night. It does irk me a little that if a voter thinks The King’s Speech is the best movie of the year that they wouldn’t vote for Tom Hooper, but that’s just me, I guess. A lot of times when there is a Best Director/Best Picture split, it is because the director made the more avant-guarde film of the two and people want to reward that while giving the overall BP award to the film they liked or enjoyed more, which is normally the conventional one. I guess that’s the case here. I know now that I have predicted this that Tom Hooper will win, so you might want to take that into account as well.

Could Win: Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech

Should Win: David Fincher, The Social Network

Should Have Been There: Mike Leigh, Another Year

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech

% Sure: 100

Comments: Unfortunately, this is the only acting category that I’m absolutely sure on. Which is sad, because I predicted all four correctly last year, and this year I’m in serious jeopardy of being able to get only one or two out of the four. I will be really happy to get just three correct. The worst part about all of this is that I spend otherworldly amounts of time reading awards blogs and such, and when it all comes down to it, my guess is going to be as good as anyone else’s on many of these categories. So why do I waste all this time researching this crap? I...I don’t know...

Could Win: Adam Sandler, Grownups. Because if you think about it, he has just as big of a chance to win as anyone who’s nominated that’s not named Colin Firth.

Should Win: Colin Firth (with all due respect to James Franco who I loved in 127 Hours).

Should Have Been There: Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Natalie Portman, Black Swan

% Sure: 89

Comments: Natalie Portman will win. A few people are predicting an Annette Bening upset but that’s a pretty gutsy prediction considering that Portman has won just about every award that counts so far this season. HOWEVER, in 2008 Mickey Rourke was the frontrunner for Best Actor in another Aronofky-directed film, The Wrestler. What happened? He lost to Sean Penn, a respected Hollywood veteran playing a homosexual in Milk, just like Bening this year. So it won’t completely floor me if Bening steals it.

Could Win: Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right

Should Win: (My personal pick out of the nominated choices would be Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone, but Portman is a totally respectable winner if she does end up pulling it out.)

Should Have Been There: Julianne Lawrence, The Kids Are All Right

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Christian Bale, The Fighter

% Sure: 85

Comments: This is by far my favorite of the acting categories. Any of the nominees would be a respectable choice to win, and even though Ruffalo is my personal favorite, Bale and Rush also gave two of the best performances of the year, and would be totally happy if either won.

Could Win: Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech

Should Win: Mark Ruffalo (Sue me. It’s my blog, I’ll pick who I want, leave me alone!)

Should Have Been There: Andrew Garfield, The Social Network

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Melissa Leo, The Fighter

% Sure: 30

Comments: Anyone’s game here. In fact, I would say it is the one category in the entire list where there are 3 or even 4 nominees that I could see taking it. But that’s just me. You have a veteran frontrunner in Leo who almost spoiled her chances by taking out her own tacky “For Your Consideration” adds, which is leading some to believe that she won’t take it, despite her SAG win and Golden Globe win, among many others. Then, you have Hailee Steinfeld, a freaking 14-year old who somehow steals the show from Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon in True Grit. Category confusion, I think, kept her from being able to win some precursor awards, which is the sole reason I’m not predicting her.

Then, there’s Helena Bonham Carter who, for once in her life wasn’t playing a witch, an evil queen, or a cannibalistic pie-baker, and I enjoyed her understated, delightful portrayal of the Queen Mother in The King’s Speech. If she wins, it will be on the coattails of a movie that looks to win several other awards. Jacki Weaver is another interesting long-shot possibility, and in a just world she would be getting far more attention for her evil-mother role in Animal Kingdom. Amy Adams probably should just be happy to be there, but maybe I’m just biased since I thought she was only the 11th best actor in her movie (behind Bale, Leo, Walhberg, and the 7 sisters).

Final Odds Tally: Leo = 30%, Steinfeld = 25%, Carter = 25%, Weaver = 15%, Adams = 5%

Could Win: Steinfeld or Carter

Should Win: Steinfeld

Should Have Been There: Olivia Williams, The Ghost Writer

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Social Network

% Sure: 100

Comments: Aaron Sorkin is a beast, and this category is a lock. End of story.

Could Win: Toy Story 3

Should Win: The Social Network

Should Have Been There: I’m actually pretty happy with the lineup as it is.

Best Original Screenplay: The King’s Speech

% Sure: 99.5

Comments: Another easy call here for your Oscar poll. The only precursor it didn’t win was the WGA, but it wasn’t eligible because the screenwriter isn’t a member of the guild, so I don’t see that as a hurdle. However, a lot of people liked both The Kids Are All Right and Inception’s screenplays, so there’s a couple upset contenders waiting in the wings. I feel pretty safe on this category, but I did last year as well and I got both screenplay categories wrong, so who knows.

Could Win: The Kids Are All Right

Should Win: Another Year

Should Have Been There: Blue Valentine

The Illusionist would be my pick for animated
 feature, but no one asked me.
Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 3

% Sure: 200

Comments: Pixar continues their streak of greatness with a third installment in their flagship franchise.  If this doesn’t win then I don’t know anything.

Could Win: How To Train Your Dragon

Should Win: The Illusionist (call me a snob, whatever. TS3 is great but The Illusionist is one of the most unique films of the year)

Should Have Been There: Just happy that The Illusionist got a nod.

Best Editing: The Social Network

% Sure: 85

Comments: Such a unique and noticeable editing style, switching back and forth between multiple storylines infused the movie with drama and anticipation. The only way it loses is if there is unbridled affection for The King’s Speech within the Academy. Oh wait...there is.

Could Win: The King’s Speech

Should Win: The Social Network

Should Have Been There: All good nominations.

Best Cinematography: True Grit

% Sure: 75

Comments: True Grit is the most prototypical candidate and the cinematographer and frequent Coen Brothers collaborator Roger Deakins is well overdue. True Grit has 10 nominations and by my calculation, this is the only one that it will win...I don’t think it can go home empty-handed, but that’s me.

Could Win: All of the other candidates are very close, but a certain King’s Speech bias could be enough to take this category. Are you sensing a pattern here?

Should Win: Either Black Swan or The Social Network (but I will be happy if True Grit does indeed win.)

Should Have Been There: The American

Best Art Direction: Inception The King’s Speech

% Sure: 25

Comments: I hate this category. When it comes down to it I’m going with The King’s Speech because it’s a period-piece and a Best Picture frontrunner. Inception and Alice in Wonderland could easily take it. In fact, I almost switched my vote just now to Inception. Ah, screw it.

Could Win: Inception

Should Win: Meh...Inception I guess.

Should Have Been There: Another Year

Best Costume Design: The King’s Speech

% Sure: 50

Comments: Once again, throwing darts at the board. Going with the frontrunner again, even though on yesterday’s podcast I picked Alice. At the very least I can get one of the two correct between this category and Art Direction if I pick the same for both. Then again, if it wins neither, I’m screwed.

Could Win: Alice in Wonderland

Should Win: The King’s Speech

Should Have Been There: The Fighter

Best Makeup: The Wolfman

% Sure: 75

Comments: Whatever.

Inception will deservedly take home 3 technicals,
by my count.
Best Sound Mixing: Inception

% Sure: 90

Comments: The Academy I think will go for the Best-Picture nominated blockbuster here.

Best Sound Editing: Inception

% Sure: 95

Comments: See above.

(My Should Have Been There for each of these categories is 127 Hours. I will never forget the sound of Franco gulping his own urine.)

Best Visual Effects: Inception

% Sure: 97

Comments: This should be more of a lock than it is considering the competition, but whatever. I think it will win for the same reasons that it will win the sound categories.

Best Original Score: The King’s Speech

% Sure: 75

Comments: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s score from The Social Network could easily surprise here.

Could win: The Social Network

Should Win: The Social Network

Should Have Been There: Black Swan (it was disqualified, but oh well).

Best Original Song: “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3

% Sure: 65

Comments: I actually haven’t heard any of these. Great insight, huh?

Could Win: “If I Rise” from 127 Hours

Bardem's acting might be good
enough to get Biutiful a
foreign film win.
Best Foreign Film: In a Better World

% Sure: 51

Comments: Only seen one nominee, Dogtooth, and that’s not winning, but it looks to be a three-way race between In a Better World, Biutiful, and Incendies. Most are predicting what I am though. This category is always difficult to get a handle on.

Best Documentary Feature: Inside Job

% Sure: 65

Comments: I really, really, REALLY want to pick Exit Through The Gift Shop here, as it is a favorite of mine and because seeing what kind of stunts Banksy will pull if he won would be great. However, I’m sticking with the conventional and topical doc by Charles Ferguson as my prediction. It was a really well-made movie and would be a deserving win in most years, but this year I just felt that Exit was so original and fresh that it would be very disappointing if it loses. The steak-eaters in the Academy probably won’t go for it though.

Best Animated Short: Madagascar, A Journey Diary (although I can totally see Day & Night winning, and I’m going to be mad at myself when it does.)

Best Live-Action Short: Wish 143

Best Documentary, Short Subject: Strangers No More

That's it, and I'm on the record.  Hope you enjoyed it.

Oscar Time!

My friends and I recorded a little Oscar podcast in anticipation of the awards tomorrow night.  We go through our predictions and other dorky Oscar-related stuff.  Check it out below!  For the hearing impaired, I will be posting my predictions and some other thoughts later this afternoon or tonight.  For now, enjoy the podcast.  Sorry I'm not very technically savvy or I would have had it up sooner and in a better format.

Quick thanks to Mike and Allison for joining me on the pod and giving great insight.  Allison posted a couple of Oscar preview items on her blog, so be sure to check that out as well.

Adam's Rear Window: Oscar Podcast from Adam Brown on Vimeo.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Film Friday: 2010 Movie Awards

I’m baaaaaaaaack.  So I’ve been working on a solid Top-10-of-2010 list to share with you guys, but there are just a couple more movies from 2010 that I want to see before finalizing the list.  However, The Gay Superbowl (aka Oscars) are next Sunday night (and you can bet on an amazing Oscar predictions and preview column coming next weekend), so I thought before that I would take this time to pass out a few awards of my own. 

(Speaking of superbowls, have you ever noticed that all four superbowls are in February? The Straight White Male Superbowl (THE Superbowl), The Gay Superbowl (The Oscars), The Black Superbowl (The NBA All-Star Game), and The Bieber Superbowl (The Grammy’s).  It’s a little too much for 4 weekends in a row.  We should just throw in a Douche Superbowl (UFC Fight), and a Terrorist Superbowl (a World Cup match) as well so everyone can be represented.  I mean really.)

Anyway.  In lieu of my normal Film Friday column with 3 recommendations, here are my 2010 Film Awards.  There will be no “Best Picture” award because I have to keep the suspense up until my Top-10 list is released (although if you know me, it shouldn’t be that hard to figure out).  I’ve mixed in the “real” awards with the sarcastic ones, so pay attention.  Enjoy!
The Ghost Writer: Soooooo Underrated.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit

Best Retarded Teenage Boy Movie: Hot Tub Time Machine

Best Teen Movie Since Mean Girls: Easy A

Most Overlooked Movie: The Ghost Writer

Sexiest Actress: Mila Kunis, Black Swan (And it’s not even close.  She basically melts the screen just by looking at it.  Am I done looking like a pervert?  Yes.  Am I done thinking about Mila Kunis in Black Swan? I’m not.)

Movie Most Likely to Make You Depressed and Question Everyone in Positions of Power and Give You a General Feeling of Hopelessness: Inside Job

Biggest Waste of $200,000,000: Tim Burton in making Alice in Wonderland.

Biggest Waste of $335,000,000: Everyone who went to see Alice in Wonderland. 

Movie Most Likely to Make You Say “Did that really just happen?” More than 40 Times: Dogtooth (as I tweeted after I watched this, it is easily the most screwed up movie I’ve ever seen.  Easily). 

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right (sorry Christian Bale, you were great in The Fighter but Ruff was better in this blogger’s opinion).

Comeback of the Year Award:  Goes to movies in general this year.  It was an incredible year for movies, nearly everything in my top 10 list is better than anything I saw last year, and that’s the honest truth.  Plus, kudos to the Academy for nominating 10 really good movies for Best Picture this year.  No complaints from me. 

Best Oddly Sexy Actress: Noomi Rapace, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Piercings? Tattoos?  Emo hair?  Works for her.)

Best Random Scene: The Rowing Scene in The Social Network.

Best Musical Score: The Social Network (never would have thought that a member of Nine Inch Nails would create one of my favorite scores). 

Biggest Letdown: Never Let Me Go (it was decent, but nowhere near its potential).

Biggest Surprise: The Fighter (I would say The Ghost Writer here but Roman Polanski directed it, so to say that it was a surprise that Polanski made a good film would be pretty stupid).

Best Cinematography: Black Swan

Best Documentary: Exit Through the Gift Shop

Best Creepy Mom: Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom (narrowly edging Melissa Leo in The Fighter)

Best 3D Movie/Only 3D Movie I Saw in 2010: TRON: Legacy

The “Not As Annoying As Usual” Award: Shia LaBeouf, Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps

The “Just as Annoying As Usual” Award: Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston for any movie they were in this year (they all kind of bleed together but I’m pretty sure they were both in one together).

Moore gave a great, conflicted performance
in The Kids Are All Right
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right (narrowly edging Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone).

The “Up and Coming Director” Award: Derek Cianfrance, Blue Valentine (although he worked on that movie for several years.  Let’s see if he’s got another one in the tank.)

The “As Good As Advertised” Award: The King’s Speech (it would also get the “movie most agreeable to critics, movie-watchers and awards bodies” award, which is why it will win Best Picture, but more on that next week.)

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Social Network

Best Original Screenplay: Another Year

Best Dialogue in a Film: True Grit

Movie That Will Be Most Highly Regarded in Twenty Years: The Social Network (Yeah, I said it.)

Best Blockbuster: Inception

Gutsiest Studio: Warner Brothers, for letting Chris Nolan & Co. produce Inception, a completely original, non-franchise, non-superhero, non-sequel action thriller that you actually had to think a little to watch and wasn’t in 3D.  And they got their money’s worth.  Let’s hope this will encourage some studios to follow suit. 

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine (sorry Colin Firth)

The “Dear God Please Stop It” Award: Adam Sandler & Kevin James, Grownups.

The “Best Depiction of Mutilation of the Human Body” Award: 127 Hours (narrowly edging Winter’s Bone, Dogtooth, and Black Swan.)
Will there ever be a better lead acting duo than
Marlon Brando & Vivien Leigh? Don't count
on it.

Best Director: David Fincher, The Social Network (duh.)

And lieu of a Best Picture of 2010 award, I give you an award for:

The Best Movie I Watched for the First Time in 2010: 

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

(Words cannot describe the way I feel about this movie, although at some point I should try.)