3/4 this year, there are already films which are being considered to be contenders for the Academy Awards. And we still have 2 more months, which, incidentally, is where most Oscar contenders crowd. So, here is the predictions for the main categories with heir status.
The color scheme:
Green – lock, totally secure
Pink– more or less, it’s safe
Red – has a chance, but still in the mix
Blue – longshot, but who could say? These shouldn’t be ignored!
Note: I have seen none of these.
Best Motion Picture
Pretty crowded year. We have films from wide variety of genres, from comedy to drama to sci-fi to suspense to action to epic to indie to mainstream films to films that I’m not yet sure if they’re still going to be released this year. So, here it is:
- The Social Network – It has the steam, the timing was right, could sustain the heat till the awards season, David Fincher’s time, very well-loved.
- Inception – If we’re saying Chris Nolan, we are talking about critically-acclaimed blockbuster films and this is no exception. The buzz is still there , and it’s a blockbuster flick that they could take seriously.
- The King’s Speech – It’s a costume drama, armored with Academy Award-nominated/winning actors, it’s epic, it’s the Weinsteins, so more or less, it’s a shoo-in. And the Toronto acclaim mean something.
- The Kids Are All Right – It may feel small, but it has a totally strong critical support, leads are totally respected, and waiting for their Oscars, and it’s with a sensitive issue.
- 127 Hours – It’s a one-man show, but the support is strong, and it has Danny Boyle, who incidentally, is someone they loved two years ago. Plus, true story.
- Toy Story 3 – Automatic slot for the animation branch in the best picture category. Pixar reign still continues. Total love for it. And the fact that they need to honor the whole trilogy!
- True Grit – I hated the original adaptation. But who couldn’t trust the Coen Bros? A Serious Man is something I didn’t like that much, but it’s very accomplished. Jeff Bridges + Coen Bros = OSCAR? Maybe.
- The Fighter – If memory serves, they could reminesce their love for Rocky and Million Dollar Baby and remember how much they value boxing movies (if not love them).
- Winter’s Bone – Could carry the indie flag this year. Jennifer Lawrence has positive traction, so is her movie. Critics love it, and it’s a sort of story that they have special attraction with, protecting the land story.
- The Way Back – Looks like an epic story. And it is epic. Actors there have good reputation, and Peter Weir, who incidentally is someone they loved before. But will the detractors affect the steam it has?
- Another Year – Costume drama. Actors have good reputation and Lesley Manville is showing well with her raves. It could carry the film to having Best Picture.
- Secretariat – Remember when they nominated Seabiscuit and The Blind Side? Now, if the Academy members remember that, then expect to see this as a BP nominee.
- Black Swan – It may come as too weird and polarizing to the members. But if the members would remember the fact that Aronofsky hadn’t been nominated yet and if they want to try something weird…..
- Rabbit Hole – Where is it? No release date yet, but it’s already exciting people. Maybe Kidman could gain the love she had with the media before with this. (Why do the media hate her, seriously?)
- Animal Kingdom – Strong critical support, but it’s from Australia (Hollywood only has a love affair with UK). But if they wouldn’t care the limited release and the foreign issue, who could say…..
- Made in Dagenham – The British representative this year, though not the only British movie here. It resembles An Education for me. It’s also the female-driven film in this list. It’s small, but quite nice.
- Love and Other Drugs – Maybe not an Oscary film, but the actors can give a fight, and it has some serious issues that might give the film the important feeling. Can Oscars accept a true rom-com in the field?
- The Town – It’s an action film which is a real no-no with the Academy, but with the strong critical reception, and the fact that Ben Affleck is someone they owe since 2007, could it go sneak in the race to 10?
- Get Low – It had it showing at the earlier part of the year, and it really had some raves. But it started to lose its steam halfway this year. Can it give itself a rebirth of the buzz?
- The Tourist – The most commercial film in this, except for Inception. It has two BIG stars (and I’m saying, BIG), but it’s action and probably too commercial for the Academy to notice it. But if it goes right…….
Best Lead Actor
Pretty crowded category. But maybe not as crowded as last year. Anyway, let’s see. Here it is:
- James Franco (127 Hours) – He has the advantage of having a one-man show, and previous snubs, critical acclaim in career, and a film that does well. Could this be the perfect formula for Oscar?
- Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) – He is already in the age bracket where they mostly give the Oscar to. And has an anticipated movie. And remember that he was totally snubbed last year?
- Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) – He’s probably too young. But as the critical streak of the movie continues, he could develop a bigger following. And he himself is praised.
- Javier Bardem (Biutiful) – Sometimes, they would just want to nominate in this category from a foreign language film. And he has the Cannes for Best Actor. Sometimes, it helps. Sometimes, no.
- Jeff Bridges (True Grit) – Maybe he’s drunk again. Maybe, they’re going to love him again. But does it happen twice in a row? Only if you’re Tom Hanks. But if they think that once is not enough, then Oscar again.
- Robert Duvall (Get Low)
- Paul Giamatti (Barney’s Version)
- Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter)
Best Lead Actress
I’m really glad that this year’s a lot more crowded than last year. Sad because Meryl’s not here, but anyway, all 8 could shuffle. Add Hilary Swank (Conviction) and Diane Lane (Secretariat) as 9th and 10th contender, who could still sneak in the race even if the race is already stiff. Here it is:
- Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right) – It’s her time, and she’s in a strongly supported film. But two leads? Oscars doesn’t know that since 1991. But if they’re going to choose one, it’s Bening.
- Lesley Manville (Another Year) – People are suggesting she’s borderline. But who cares? Her film and her performance are having the buzz. But remember, they might suddenly place her in the supporting.
- Natalie Portman (Black Swan) – The movie caused people to be divided, but her performance uniformally receives acclaim. And they loved her before. Remember 2004?
- Anne Hathaway (Love and Other Drugs) – She’s in a not so Oscary film, but she has one. You may not know why, but her performance could cause the steam, even if her film wouldn’t.
- Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole) – Grieving mother? Oscar is most likely its counterpart. And it’s time for Kidman to have something that she lost from the Hollywood for the past years – love.
- Julianne Moore (The Kids Are All Right) – Overdue for a win, strong film, but TWO LEADS. And people will most likely go with Bening if they’re going to choose one. But who knows?
- Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone) – If her film will attract a lot of supporters, this would surely be in. Honestly, it’s the competition that could kick her out of the competition.
- Sally Hawkins (Made in Dagenham) – The notorious Happy-Go-Lucky snub still rings a bell, and maybe they will pay her with this. If her movie could gain such buzz, she could pull a Carey Mulligan this year.
Best Supporting Actor
I have my personal bets already, even if I haven’t seen any of them. The Social Network guys could make a lock, if the film would maintain the steam. Just like Up in the Air last year. Here it is:
- Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech) – When was the last time they showed their love for Rush? With a co-lead status and a showy part, he is most likely to enter here.
- Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right) – If the producers will give the same importance they have on the campaign with the ladies to him, it might happen.
- Justin Timerlake (The Social Network) – From what I have heard, he has the showy part. Even then, what would the effect be if you’re a singer who can really act in an acclaimed movie? Most likely, an Oscar.
- Christian Bale (The Fighter) – Oh, it’s showy! They may consider the effort on the weight loss, and they have ignored him for quite some time.
- Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) – He seems to have a longer screentime than Timberlake but he’s younger. You know the trade. But will the Academy give him the award before he becomes Spiderman?
- Ed Harris (The Way Back)
- Josh Brolin (True Grit)
- Bill Murray (Get Low)
Best Supporting Actress
Unlike last year, when we have automatic three locks, this year, it’s totally open. I won’t comment to each of the girls because I completely don’t have any idea. Here it is:
- Helena Bonham-Carter (The King’s Speech)
- Miranda Richardson (Made in Dagenham)
- Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom)
- Amy Adams (The Fighter)
- Sissy Spacek (Get Low)
- Dianne Weist (Rabbit Hole)
- Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
- Barbara Hershey (Black Swan)
I’ll update this from time to time. I’m just very excited!