Oscar 2011 Predictions, Final

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The Oscar nominations will be announced bright and early on Tuesday morning, so here’s my last two cents on who will be nominated. I expect a few surprises, but most of these picks fall in line with a consensus that has built after the guilds and Golden Globes have made their picks. As a reminder, these are my predictions and do not factor in whether I liked the films or not.

BEST PICTURE

The Artist
The Descendants
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
The Help

Hugo
Midnight in Paris
Moneyball
War Horse

I’m going to go with eight nominations, although it could be anywhere from five to ten. If it’s five, The Artist, The Descendants, The Help, Hugo and Midnight in Paris figure to be in. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was aided immensely by David Fincher being nominated for Best Director by the DGA. To be nominated, a film must receive five percent of the first place votes cast. Moneyball I have in by a thread.

If the category goes to ten, add The Tree of Life, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, or Bridesmaids.
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BEST DIRECTOR


Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Tate Taylor, The Help

It would be boring to just parrot the DGA nominees, so I’ll substitute Taylor for Fincher. It will be interesting to see if Terence Malick gets any love for The Tree of Life, and if he can get nominated here without the film being nominated for Best Picture, which hasn’t happened yet since the Best Picture category expanded from five nominees.

BEST ACTOR


George Clooney, The Descendants
Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Michael Fassbender, Shame
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Clooney, Dujardin, and Pitt are locks. DiCaprio doesn’t belong here, but seems to have enough star power and enough good will to get by. The remaining spot should go to a man named Michael–Fassbender or Shannon, for Take Shelter. Gary Oldman for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is also a possibility, but slight.

BEST ACTRESS

Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn


The consensus is, and I agree, that there are six women chasing five spots. The last spot will either go to Swinton, or to Rooney Mara for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. If anyone else gets in it will be a surprise.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Albert Brooks, Drive
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners

The most wide open category, there are another half-dozen or so actors who could gain a spot here, most likely Max von Sydow for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Octavia Spencer, The Help
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants


As with Actress, this category is six women chasing five spots, but only Bejo, Chastain, and Spencer are locks. Janet McTeer, for Albert Nobbs, is the other possibility. McCarthy received a SAG nomination but not a Golden Globe, while the opposite was true for Woodley. McTeer received both, which means I should have her here, but for some reason I don’t. Just a hunch.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

The Artist
Bridesmaids
Margin Call

Midnight in Paris
Win Win

Lots of room for other films here, including A Separation, 50/50, Beginners, Take Shelter, Tree of Life or Melancholia. The screenwriters branch is frequently the most adventurous.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

The Descendants
The Help
Hugo

Moneyball
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy



If The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo has a big day it could be here, too, but I’ll go with the more complex Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy to get the fifth spot.


BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Footnote, Israel
In Darkness, Poland
Monsieur Lazhar, Canada
Pina, Germany
A Separation, Iran

The Academy makes this easier, by winnowing it down to nine semifinalists. Don’t know much about these films. Poland’s is about the Holocaust, so that should be in. Pina has the distinct possibility of being nominated for both Best Foreign Language and Best Documentary, which has never happened before.

BEST ANIMATED FILM

The Adventures of Tintin
Cars 2
Puss ‘n Boots
Rango

Rio

Ludicrously, the Academy will allow for five nominees in this category, because of the number of releases. Pixar, even in an off year, may get in, and though Rio kind of came and went it did get decent box office. But a relatively unknown film could knock one of them off and sneak in here.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Bill Cunningham New York
Buck
Paradise Lost 3
Pina
Project Nim

This is a real crap shoot. I could be wrong on all five, though they are taken from a semifinalist list of 15.

Find out Tuesday morning how I did!

About Jackrabbit Slim

Location: Vegas, Baby! I’m much older than the other whippersnappers here, a baby boomer. I tend to be more snobbish about film, disdaining a lot of the multiplex fare for “cinema.” My favorite films: Woody Allen’s oeuvre (up until about 1990), The Godfather, The Graduate, A Hard Day’s Night, Pulp Fiction. Politics: Well, George McGovern was my political hero. I’m also a prickly atheist. Occupation: Poised to be an English teacher in Las Vegas. For many years I was an editor at Penthouse Magazine. My role on this blog seems to be writing lots of reviews and being the resident Oscar maven.

22 responses »

  1. BEST PICTURE
    The Artist
    The Descendants
    The Help
    Hugo
    Midnight in Paris
    Moneyball
    War Horse
    Tree of Life

    BEST DIRECTOR
    Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
    Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
    Alexander Payne, The Descendants
    Martin Scorsese, Hugo
    Terrence Malick, Tree of Life

    BEST ACTOR
    George Clooney, The Descendants
    Jean Dujardin, The Artist
    Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar
    Brad Pitt, Moneyball
    Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

    BEST ACTRESS
    Viola Davis, The Help
    Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
    Charlize Theron, Young Adult
    Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
    Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
    Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
    Albert Brooks, Drive
    Jonah Hill, Moneyball
    Nick Nolte, Warrior
    Christopher Plummer, Beginners

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
    Berenice Bejo, The Artist
    Jessica Chastain, The Help
    Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
    Octavia Spencer, The Help
    Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

    BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
    The Artist
    Bridesmaids
    Midnight in Paris
    Young Adult
    50/50

    BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
    The Descendants
    The Help
    Hugo
    Moneyball
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
    A Separation, Iran

    BEST ANIMATED FILM
    The Adventures of Tintin
    Cars 2
    Puss ‘n Boots
    Rango
    Kung Fu Panda 2

    BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
    Paradise Lost 3
    Project Nim

  2. I didn’t like the film at all, but am surprised there’s no awards momentum for ‘Rise of Planet of the Apes’. It got a universally good response from both critics and audiences alike – I would’ve expected that to get more traction as a BP nominee than Bridesmaids.

  3. Awards momentum for ‘Rise’? Whaaa?! Bridesmaids only made it because the academy needs to garner more press and following with younger crowds. …let’s not get crazy here, Rise what depressingly bad.

  4. Haven’t seen the whole list yet, but I’m heartened by what I’ve seen so far–putting in Bachir and Oldman instead of DiCaprio. Biggest snub–Albert Brooks

  5. Just watched the announcements on YouTube. Main notable features seems to be:

    – Albert Brooks didn’t get nominated for Sup Act – which would seem a big surprise
    – Ides of March got a Best Screenplay nomination – don’t think anyone was predicting that
    – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close got a BP nomination – that I think was a big surprise.

  6. I have the complete list in front of me–I’ll have a full recap tonight or tomorrow, but as noted, Brooks was snubbed (Drive only got one nomination, for Sound editing). Shame was blanked, guess it was too decadent. Only two nominations in Best Song, so I guess most of them sucked (I’m hoping this category goes away eventually).

    The Descendants was nominated in all key categories (including editing, perhaps not expected) which leaves it as an alternative to The Artist. All eyes will now be on the DGA.

    Interesting that Rooney Mara got nominated, but Dragon Tattoo got no other major nominations.

  7. Of the major nominations, the only film I have to see is Albert Nobbs. I think it’s playing in NYC, and I’ll be there this Saturday, so maybe I’ll see it then.

  8. I was a little surprised to hear that there were nine nominees, since everyone seemed to be expecting 7 or 8, but it looks like those extra slots went to Extremely Loud and War Horse. So nothing to be excited about, although I haven’t seen the former yet.

    Glad that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo didn’t make it, and though I like Leo, I’m glad that he missed out for J. Edgar which was a real turd. Wish that Streep would have missed out, too, but I guess that was never a possibility.

    Glad that Gary Oldman made it in.

    Michael Shannon and Albert Brooks are the snubs of the year for me.

    Thought that the script for The Ides of March was the film’s weakest element.

    Not much else to say. Still need to see Extremely Loud and Albert Nobbs.

  9. Extremely Loud is the worst-reviewed movie, by Metacritic scores, to get a Best Picture nomination at least since the field expanded, and possibly the worst-reviewed in many decades. It’s score of 46 is lower than even The Blind Side, which has a 53.

    In fact, going back to 1996 (Metacritic seems far less comprehensive before that, presumably since that’s about when the internet started becoming a real cultural force), only two other movies score in the 50s: The Reader, (also by Daldry, 58), and Life Is Beautiful (59).

    Interestingly, only four times since then has the movie with the best Metacritic score won Best Picture:

    The Hurt Locker (94)
    Slumdog Millionaire (86)
    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (94)
    American Beauty (86)

    Is that a bad sign for this year’s leader, The Artist, which scores an 89?

    Crash won Best Picture despite having the lowest Metacritic score of its competition, a 69 (Capote had the best that year with an 88). Gladiator was tied for worst in 2000, sharing a 64 with Chocolat. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon had a 93 that year, one of 10 movies to pull a 90 and not win.

    Actually, that makes movies with 90 or higher only 3 of 13 when nominated. Besides the two above, No Country for Old Men was the third with a 91, although There Will Be Blood scored a 92 that year to narrowly beat it.

  10. Among Oscarphiles, the major nominations: Picture, Director, the four acting, and screenplays.

    Nice research, Brian. In my view, three films have a shot: The Artist, Hugo, and The Descendants, as they are the only ones nominated for Director, Screenplay, and Editing. With a few exceptions, Best Picture winners are nominated in all those categories.

    I wonder what the tenth movie would have been had they stuck with last year’s rule. Maybe Dragon Tattoo.

  11. Since I’ve seen all nine films, this is how I personally rank them:

    1. Midnight in Paris
    2. Moneyball
    3. Hugo
    4. The Tree of Life
    5. The Artist
    6. The Descendants
    7. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
    8. The Help
    9. War Horse

  12. I’m interested to see what Brian thinks of Margin Call, too, and sorry for the language, but that’s bullshit Cinematography isn’t considered a major award.
    It’s no secret The Godfather looks and feels like it does because of Willis. Coppola often left the framing to Willis to work with the actors. That’s …. CRAP that it’s not major. Oh, well.

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