Wednesday, February 23, 2011

No. 13 - Oscar Predictions

 - by Bill Urbanski


Hollywood's Kodak Theatre - Oscar's Home
        It is that time of year again.  On Sunday night, the 83rd annual Academy Awards will be presented at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.  I’m something of a movie buff, so you can bet I’ll be watching.

      Every year for the last ten years or so, I’ve made an effort to see all of the movies that are nominated.  Yes, ALL.  I never do see all, but I do try and I end up seeing most, or at least a high percentage of the overall nominations.

      I concentrate on the “big ones” – those nominated for Best Picture, and those with nominations in acting and writing categories.  So that’s where I limit my predictions. 

      I won’t be voicing my opinion on Best Makeup – haven’t seen any of the films nominated – nor will I chime in on Best Editing.  I have seen four of five films in the Editing category.  It’s just I don’t understand how Academy members vote on this one without knowing what ended up on the cutting room floor.  I mean, you gotta be able to compare, right?   But I digress.

      Without further ado, here’s how I see it:

Best Supporting Actress

Winner: Melissa Leo, The Fighter -- not as dominating as Mo’Nique in Precious last year, but after leaving the theater, she’s the one character you’re talking about (Well, maybe there are two.  See supporting actor below).  

2nd Place: Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit – good performance, but newcomers rarely take home the top prize.

No chance: Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom – only ‘cause I haven't seen the movie and I hate movies about animals – That penguin movie a few years ago was just tedious.  Have you seen Operation Dumbo Drop? More like Operation Dumbest Movie Ever Made.

Best Supporting Actor

Winner: Christian Bale, The Fighter – punch drunk drug addict equals Oscar gold, period.

2nd Place: Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech – solid performance by a gifted actor.

No chance: Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right – very little depth in the character, so no real opportunity for an actor to shine. 

Best Actress

Winner: Natalie Portman, Black Swan – she is at the top of a weak overall field.  Plus, I kinda have a crush.

2nd Place: Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right – psycho ballerina always beats lesbian alcoholic. It’s a rock-paper-scissors thing.

No chance: Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole – still haven’t forgiven her for making me sit through The Hours back in 2002.

Best Actor

Winner: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech – cashes in on goodwill and momentum from last year’s performance in A Single Man. Stellar showing again this year puts him far ahead of his competition. This one’s a lock.

2nd Place: Jeff Bridges, True Grit – closest we’ve had to a repeat since Tom Hanks in 1995, when it was almost a three-peat. 

No chance: Javier Bardem, Biutiful – couldn’t understand a damn word he said.  May have worked for Leo as Gilbert Grape; not happenin’ here. Capiche?

Best Picture

      This one’s as close as it gets, between The Social Network and The King’s Speech.  This is Affirmed/Alydar stuff.  Too bad we’ll never know exactly how close.  Hmm... wait a second. Wonder if Julian Assange has any interest in visiting the folks over at Price Waterhouse?

      The two films have split some of the precursor awards, with King’s taking top honors at Screen Actors and Directors Guild; Social winning the Golden Globe.

      The King’s Speech is a well-crafted and superbly acted film.  In the end however, Academy members will be swayed by the impact Facebook has had on American society and the world as a whole.  The Social Network will prevail.

Winner: The Social Network

2nd Place: The King’s Speech

No chance: Toy Story 3 – Stupid to even be here. It’s animated!  They have a separate category for that.  Makes as much sense as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but don’t get me started.

Last Two:  Best Adapted Screenplay - Winner: The Social Network. Best Original Screenplay - Winner: The King's Speech.

Enjoy the movies!

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