Friday, March 5, 2010

Oscar Picks

Best Documentary, Features
Burma VJ: Reporter i et lukket land (2008): Anders Østergaard, Lise Lense-Møller
The Cove (2009): Louie Psihoyos, Fisher Stevens
Food, Inc. (2008): Robert Kenner, Elise Pearlstein
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (2009): Judith Ehrlich, Rick Goldsmith
Which Way Home (2009): Rebecca Cammisa

some good choices here and The Cove is the front-runner but momentum has been building for Food Inc. I think Oscar may indeed give Food a thought! (har har har har). seriously i think the cove is going to win

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Ajami (2009)(Israel)
Das weisse Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte (2009)(Germany)
El secreto de sus ojos (2009)(Argentina)
Un prophète (2009)(France)
La teta asustada (2009)(Peru)

White Band (Das Weisse Band). Hands down. Un Prophete has a shot but Haneke is a pretty respected name in International Cinema.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Coraline (2009): Henry Selick
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009): Wes Anderson
The Princess and the Frog (2009): John Musker, Ron Clements
The Secret of Kells (2009): Tomm Moore
Up (2009): Pete Docter

Up is a lock. It sort of has to win, right? it was nominated for best picture and there were no other animated films in there so it has to win, right?

Best Achievement in Visual Effects
Best Achievement in Sound Editing
Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
Best Achievement in Art Direction
Best Achievement in Cinematography

not going to list all the nominees, Avatar is going to win all of these.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
Crazy Heart (2009): T-Bone Burnett, Ryan Bingham("The Weary Kind")
Faubourg 36 (2008): Reinhardt Wagner, Frank Thomas("Loin de Paname")
Nine (2009): Maury Yeston("Take It All")
The Princess and the Frog (2009): Randy Newman("Almost There")
The Princess and the Frog (2009): Randy Newman("Down in New Orleans")

what a disappointing list. karen o should be in here for 'all is love' meh. give it to the crazy heart song.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
Avatar (2009): James Horner
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009): Alexandre Desplat
The Hurt Locker (2008): Marco Beltrami, Buck Sanders
Sherlock Holmes (2009): Hans Zimmer
Up (2009): Michael Giacchino

this is actually an interesting race. this could go to either Up or Avatar. the latter would have been amazing without any music at all so i'm going to say Up on this one.

Best Achievement in Makeup
Il divo (2008): Aldo Signoretti, Vittorio Sodano
Star Trek (2009): Barney Burman, Mindy Hall, Joel Harlow
The Young Victoria (2009): John Henry Gordon, Jenny Shircore

give this one to the green women of star trek.

Best Achievement in Costume Design
Bright Star (2009): Janet Patterson
Coco avant Chanel (2009): Catherine Leterrier
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009): Monique Prudhomme
Nine (2009): Colleen Atwood
The Young Victoria (2009): Sandy Powel

normally this category defaults to the period piece but we have TWO of them! AND a movie about coco chanel. ok, here is what i think will happen, young victoria and bright star will split the corset vote and coco before chanel will win. personally, i would like to see imaginarium take it. those costumes were all amazing. that or the young victoria will just win outright.

Best Achievement in Editing
Avatar (2009): Stephen E. Rivkin, John Refoua, James Cameron
District 9 (2009): Julian Clarke
The Hurt Locker (2008): Bob Murawski, Chris Innis
Inglourious Basterds (2009): Sally Menke
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009): Joe Klotz

i want to default to avatar here but im not so sure. you see, best editing has been predictative of best picture now for the better of ten years. since i really dont think avatar is going to win best picture, i am going to say hurt locker. that film relied very heavily on editing to get its message across

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
District 9 (2009): Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell
An Education (2009): Nick Hornby
In the Loop (2009): Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009): Geoffrey Fletcher
Up in the Air (2009/I): Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner

Up in the Air is a lock...despite the persistent commercials for american airlines, hertz, and hilton hotels throughout. seriously, it just got ridiculous after a certain point. my personal vote would have been In the Loop or An Education.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
The Hurt Locker (2008): Mark Boal
Inglourious Basterds (2009): Quentin Tarantino
The Messenger (2009/I): Alessandro Camon, Oren Moverman
A Serious Man (2009): Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Up (2009): Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Thomas McCarthy

this is tough to call. its between hurt locker and basterds. given tarantino's universal love in the academy, i am going to lean towards the basterds but a hurt locker win would not surprise me

Best Achievement in Directing
Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker (2008)
James Cameron for Avatar (2009)
Lee Daniels for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)
Jason Reitman for Up in the Air (2009/I)
Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds (2009)

This is another really really interesting race. there hasnt been a race between ex-husband and ex-wife before and its libel to be very close. i am going to predict biglow but would not be suprised if cameron won.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Mo'Nique for the boys and Waltz for the boys. no contest.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side (2009)
Helen Mirren for The Last Station (2009)
Carey Mulligan for An Education (2009)
Gabourey Sidibe for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)
Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia (2009)

this is the only interesting race in the acting category because the only one who doesnt have a shot in helen mirren. i dont think sandra bullock is going to win and sadly, i dont think mulligan is either. sidibe has a chance as a dark horse spoiler but when its all said and done, i think meryl streep will be taking home her first oscar since 1983! yeah, she has been nominated 11 times without a win! and the one she may get it for is a glorified dan ackroyd as julia child impression from SNL

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart (2009)
George Clooney for Up in the Air (2009/I)
Colin Firth for A Single Man (2009)
Morgan Freeman for Invictus (2009)
Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker (2008)

Personally, i would love to see colin firth win but bridges is the likely winner and sentimental favorite. everyone knows he shouldve been nominated and won the oscar for big lebowski but he most likely will get it here. sorry george clooney.

Best Motion Picture of the Year
Avatar (2009): James Cameron, Jon Landau
The Blind Side (2009): Gil Netter, Andrew A. Kosove, Broderick Johnson
District 9 (2009): Peter Jackson, Carolynne Cunningham
An Education (2009): Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey
The Hurt Locker (2008): Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier, Greg Shapiro
Inglourious Basterds (2009): Lawrence Bender
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009): Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness, Gary Magness
A Serious Man (2009): Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Up (2009): Jonas Rivera
Up in the Air (2009/I): Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman, Jason Reitman

ten nominees! WOW! basically, this is a 3 movie race. there is avatar, which i really really dont think will win. there is the hurt locker, which i think will win. and then there is inglorious basterds who people seem to think will win. but yeah, everything else are also rans and im kinda surprised that the hangover and star trek didnt make it in and the blind side did. hmm. oh well, last year i was 73%. lets see if i do better this year

like my IFC post, this blog was not proofread and likely contains a lot of missing words

Independent Spirit Awards Picks

i love the spirit awards for all the reasons IFC wants me to like them. it is an awards show that attempts not to take itself seriously but nominates people and films that the oscars pass by. usually though, the winners are oscar films but quirky comedies that dont have a shot of winning best picture but are a lock for best screenplay (sideways, little miss sunshine, etc). ive seen most of these films so ill give you picks and some commentary

Best Documentary
Anvil! The Story of Anvil (2008)
Food, Inc. (2008)
More Than a Game (2008)
October Country (2009)
Which Way Home (2009)

I've seen four of these (october country...not yet). i am leaning towards Food, Inc. because it did cause some amazing discussion and social change though Anvil! was beloved by all. Still, I'm thinking Food has this one.

Best Foreign Film
An Education (2009)
Maria Larssons eviga ögonblick (2008)
Madeo (2009)
La nana (2009)
Un prophète (2009)

I've seen three of these and my guess is going to be the one I haven't seen yet, Un Prophete. British films like An Education have notoriously difficult shots at Best Foreign Film because while technically, it's foreign, there aren't subtitles.

Best First Feature
Crazy Heart (2009)
Easier with Practice (2009)
The Messenger (2009/I)
Paranormal Activity (2007)
A Single Man (2009)

I can tell you who is NOT going to win this: Paranormal Activity. It was good but too many people are comparing it to Blair Witch which means the ghastly after effects of all involved sliding back into obscurity. A Single Man was outstandingly shot and overlooked. Tom Ford used his remarkable his photographic eye for one of the most uniquely shots debuts in a while. There's your winner

Best Cinematography
The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans (2009): Peter Zeitlinger
Cold Souls (2009): Andrij Parekh
A Serious Man (2009): Roger Deakins
Sin nombre (2009): Adriano Goldman
Treeless Mountain (2008): Anne Misaw

I've seen all of these and I can't decide whether I liked Sin Nombre or Cold Souls more in terms of cinematography. In Souls, the stark sterility of the appearance in the Soul and the Soul Extractor were essential to a successful film and Sin Nombre was a wonderful trip through downtrodden Mexico. Also, Treeless Mountain was stark and had some lovely sunsets. On the other hand, A Serious Man is the Coen Brothers. Yeah, I'm going with that one.

Best First Screenplay
Amreeka (2009): Cherien Dabis
Cold Souls (2009): Sophie Barthes
Crazy Heart (2009): Scott Cooper
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009): Geoffrey Fletcher
A Single Man (2009): Tom Ford, David Scearce

This is a tough category too. Amreeka was brilliantly written and took a tough subject matter (Palestinian immigrants trying to set up a new life in the US) and made it sad, poignant, and funny at times. On the other hand, Precious was popular but did receive a lot of backlash after the initial fawning. Cold Souls was brilliantly clever but was a bit reminscient of Eternal Sunshine. Crazy Heart was good but I didn't was as emotional as it could have been. Right, I'm saying a Single Man on this one too but Amreeka might take it.

Best Screenplay
(500) Days of Summer (2009): Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
Adventureland (2009): Greg Mottola
The Messenger (2009/I): Alessandro Camon, Oren Moverman
The Last Station (2009): Michael Hoffman
The Vicious Kind (2009): Lee Toland Krieger

(500) Days is a lock. Adventureland could upset but I highly doubt it.

Best Director
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen for A Serious Man (2009)
Lee Daniels for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)
Cary Fukunaga for Sin nombre (2009)
James Gray for Two Lovers (2008)
Michael Hoffman for The Last Station (2009)

If there is something better the Coen Brothers, it's underappreciated Coen Brothers. This one is pretty much a lock too though I was very impressed by the direction in Sin Nombre and Two Lovers, the latter of which was one of the most pleasant film suprises of recent years for me. Still, Coens.

Best Supporting Male
Jemaine Clement for Gentlemen Broncos (2009)
Woody Harrelson for The Messenger (2009/I)
Christian McKay for Me and Orson Welles (2008)
Ray McKinnon for That Evening Sun (2009)
Christopher Plummer for The Last Station (2009)

While the idea of Clement winning makes me very very happy (he sang Too Many Dicks on the Dancefloor!) Woody Harrelson is a lock and probably would be a strong candidate for the Oscar if Christophe Waltz didn't give one of the most memorable performances in history.

Best Supporting Female
Mo'Nique for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)
Dina Korzun for Cold Souls (2009)
Samantha Morton for The Messenger (2009/I)
Natalie Press for Fifty Dead Men Walking (2008)
Mia Wasikowska for That Evening Sun (2009)

Mo'Nique is going to win the Oscar and should. She is also going to win the Spirit award and should. Though I did think Samantha Morton was excellent. Of course, she is always excellent. Weep not for Mia Wasikowska, she plays the lead in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland so she will be ok.

Best Male Lead
Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart (2009)
Colin Firth for A Single Man (2009)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt for (500) Days of Summer (2009)
Souleymane Sy Savane for Goodbye Solo (2008)
Adam Scott for The Vicious Kind (2009)

This is a tough one. Bridges is the sentimental favorite and the likely Oscar winner but Firth and Levitt have strong shots at this. I am going to say Bridges but I think that this race is fairly close

Best Female Lead
Maria Bello for Downloading Nancy (2008)
Nisreen Faour for Amreeka (2009)
Helen Mirren for The Last Station (2009)
Gwyneth Paltrow for Two Lovers (2008)
Gabourey Sidibe for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)

Precious is going to win but I protest this. I thought Maria Bello was amazing and I'm wondering how the hell Tilda Swinton was snubbed for Julia. Sidibe was good but strictly ordinary and her performance did not have the same sort of emotional punch that Mo'Nique had.

Best Feature
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
Amreeka (2009)
The Last Station (2009)
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)
Sin nombre (2009)

I would like to see Sin Nombre or Amreeka win because I really liked them a lot. Precious has a small chance but I think that (500) Days of Summer, a movie beloved by all and starring poster children of indie films will win.

i didnt proofread this blog entry so im sorry if there are a shit ton of words missing. i type stream of conciousness and leave out words frequently.