Sunday, January 30, 2011

Now for some more off topic stuff (Oscar Predictions)

            Since my Sci-Fi list has been stolen by wild goblins I’ve been in a fickle mood as of late. So I have decided to go ahead and show my Oscar predictions. If you have an office pool, which is not likely since you’re reading my blog, I have also provided some hints as in finding the leader of at least the important nominations (even Ebert doesn’t know what Sound Mixing is). For those who forgot who was nominated here’s a link: Oscar nominees

Film Editing
            Ah Best Film Editor, the one that always gets away. The only hint I can give you for this is to watch the nominees and after watching each film, contemplate on how many times you’ve noticed the film switch shots. If you notice a lot of shot switches, it’s not going to win. Editing is a complicated process that not only involves splicing the best camera shots together, but doing so as seamlessly as possible. If not edited properly then all immersion is lost and you’ll remind the audience that they are wasting their lives. To me the two nominees that succeed in this category are ‘The King’s Speech’ and ‘The Social Network’, but I’d go with ‘The King’s Speech’ because ‘The Social Network’ ends so abruptly that I thought the theater lost a reel.

            The opposite of editing. If a Best Cinematography nominee were a person, it would be Elton John. Cinematography is the French (therefore superior) way of saying photography and to be the best the cameraman must take advantage of any angle, lens, filter, cranes, dolly tracks etc to make the film look gorgeous. With that in mind then ‘True Grit’ got this in the bag.

            If you saw my short film ‘The Cook’ then you know I don’t know crap about what makes a good screenplay. But if I had to pick, I think Best Adapted will go to ‘The Social Network’ and Best Original will go to ‘Inception’.

Animated Feature
             Who gives a shit we are talking about real movies! Sarcasm aside I have a love/hate relationship with this category because while it allows animation to have some recognition it also further segregates them from the “mature” competition. Heck the category itself was created just because of all the hate mail the Academy got for snubbing ‘Chicken Run’ (it’s better than it sounds) over ‘Erin Brockovich’ and ‘Chocolat’, two films that people watch to cure their insomnia. In the end the category is just symbol of how the Academy is a crumbling ivory tower filled with mostly old, rickety actors who either fear that they’re being replaced by animators or think that animated films are just silly drawings meant to distract the kids. Where was I going this… fuck it ‘Toy Story 3’ is a lock.

Supporting Actress
             This one is a little weird due to the fact that Hailee Steinfeld, who is the lead actress of ‘True Grit’ is nominated in this category. This is a common trend with child actors because there is so many films that center on one actor during the awards season that there are hardly any good choices for the supporting cast. In other words, Steinfeld has a better chance now that her only competition is Helena Bohnam Carter and not Michelle Williams, Nicole Kidman, Natalie Portman and Annette Bening, which would’ve been suicide. While it is neck and neck I hope that Helena Bohnam Carter wins for ‘The King Speech because for her to act with subtly is the equivalent of an actor gaining 60 lbs. for a movie then losing 70 lbs. for his next role, which segues to…

Supporting Actor
            Christian Bale for the ‘The Fighter’, just so he can chill the fuck out and eat some food. This crazy bastard has gained and lost so much weight for this and other roles that his heart can probably do cartwheels. He probably kept a briefcase filled with crack rocks just so he can stay in character.

Lead Actress
            Since Noomi Rapace was not nominated for ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’, I can’t even come up with a legitimate guess; all of the nominees are rather plain. But if history repeats itself then there will be an unexpected win from an obscure actor who after making 5 or 6 unsuccessful films; will fall back into obscurity until 20 years later when he/she makes a come back. By that logic Jennifer Lawrence will win because she is playing Mystique in the destined to fail ‘X-men: First Class’.

Lead Actor
            Aside from the fact that Ryan Gosling (how has he not won anything yet?) was not nominated for his work in ‘Blue Valentine’ this list of nominees is pretty good. Jeff Bridges makes his second consecutive nomination this year and if he wins this time he will be the third actor in history to win two years in a row, too bad that’s not going to happen because Colin Firth has been a lock for this award before ‘The King’s Speech’ was even released. Even if Colin Firth’s performance did not impress you (which is impossible) then think about this, A) Firth never won an Oscar, B) he’s an aging British man C) the character plays is a real person, D) who had a crippling disorder. Hell if Firth’s character was also gay, a rock singer and died onscreen he would have been nominated twice. So yeah, Colin Firth for the win; but I kinda want to see Jesse Eisenberg win just so I can hear him rip a new one for all the people who think he’s ripping off Michael Cera.

             All right lets talk about the elephant in the room. Did Christopher Nolan get drunk and acted like a twat at every Guild party because that is only reason I can think of that explains why he has not been nominated for best director. Nolan, for those who are not members of your local nerd club, has shaped himself as a modern day Alfred Hitchcock in that he uses the auteur theory (the idea that the director has complete artistic control) to create very sophisticated blockbusters can be enjoyed by everyone, including critics.  While Nolan’s new film ‘Inception’ was confusing, it was the most original this and one of the most successful ideas that came out of anyone’s head this year and what does he get? Jack-shit.  Hooper and Russel on the other hand, do not even have a hint of panache; they practically say action and let the actors do all the work.  While Aronofsky, Fincher and the Coen brothers use their trademark visual styles; all three seemed to have toned it down. I don’t really care who wins this one since the shoe-in is out of the race, but for the sake of those who want my “sage advice” go with Fincher.

            In the end I’m just glad that the Best Picture nominee because after that fiasco at the Golden Globes I really thought that ‘The Tourist’ or ‘The Expendables’ was going to be nominated. Personally, the best film of the year was ‘Toy Story 3’ but I know it’s not going to win; it probably wouldn’t even have been nominated if they discontinued the rule of 10 nominees. The one to beat right now is ‘The King’s Speech’ because it has Helena B. Carter and Colin Firth doing the best performances of their career, it is also a beautifully crafted and inspiring tale that will hit close to home for many people. But that being said, the one film will that be written in the history books is ‘The Social Network’.
            ‘The Social Network’ is the movie definition of hip; instead of relying on old styles it creates new ones. David Fincher (the director of Seven and Fight Club) is at his best as he churns out film noir- style grit with a lightning quick pace. Trent Reznor’s electronic/noise musical score is unbelievably daring. Aaron Sorkin’s script throws linear narrative out the window. Then there are these young actors with raw talent who never pull any of their punches, yes even Justin Timberlake. Even if people don’t believe that ‘The Social Network’ defines a generation, they can’t deny that it is a factor for creating a new generation of filmmakers and that’s what the Oscars should be awarding.

As for the rest…

Documentary Feature: Exit Through the Gift Shop because I’ve heard about it... yeah I fail.

Foreign Film: Biutiful will win because the title makes my spell check software cry.

Orginal Song: Who cares? I don’t even know why this category exists.
Costume Design: True Grit

Makeup: Barney’s Version

Sound Mixing: Inception

Sound Editing: Inception

Art Direction: Inception

Visual Effects: Inception

Short film: Inception

Orignal Score: How to Train Your Dragon (sorry Inception, but if I hear WROMP… WROMP… WROMP again I may have to shoot a hooker or two)

The Oscars are on February 27 at 8/5p on ABC or you can skip it and look up the winners, online the next day.

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