Tag Archives: Country Strong

Oscar Predictions: Original Song and Score

24 Feb

In my fourth Oscar Predictions post we will take a look at both of the musical categories, those for Best Original Song and Best Original Score.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Nominees

  • “Coming Home” from Country Strong (Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey)
  • “I See the Light” from Tangled (Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Glenn Slater)
  • “If I Rise” from 127 Hours (Music by A.R. Rahman; Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong)
  • “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3 (Music and Lyric by Randy Newman)

My personal pick here would by the Country Strong song, if only because I’m pretty much in love with Gwyneth Paltrow and her voice. However, the race here is probably between “If I Rise” or “We Belong Together”.

A.R. Rahman won both Original Song and Original Score when he was nominated two years ago for his other collaboration on a Danny Boyle film with Slumdog Millionaire, and while the song is fantastic, and features pretty good vocals by Dido (though on the televised broadcast her part will be sung by the even more awesome Florence Welch), my hunch is that the Academy will go with Randy Newman’s tune, who has been nominated 20 times but won only once.

Should Win: Country Strong
Will Win: Toy Story 3

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Nominees

  • How to Train Your Dragon (John Powell)
  • Inception (Hans Zimmer)
  • The King’s Speech (Alexandre Desplat)
  • 127 Hours (A.R. Rahman)
  • The Social Network (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross)

All five nominees here did superb work that was really felt in their films and that elevated their overall quality. However, this category is one of those battles between The King’s Speech and The Social Network. Even though I can see why the Academy may want to reward Alexandre Desplat, who’s competing on his fourth nomination with no prior wins, and who really communicated the unspoken emotions of the King with his beautiful score I think, and really hope, they will go on the other direction.

Atticus Ross and NIN mastermind Trent Reznor should win for the mesmerizing score they created for David Fincher’s latest. It’s their music, I think, that had the biggest impact on any film this year, how those very unique and different sounds punctuated every bit of action on-screen was truly spectacular, and even if Sunday turns into a sweep by The King’s Speech I think they should walk away with this one.

Should Win: The Social Network
Will Win: The Social Network

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Country Strong

28 Jan

Title: Country Strong
Year:
2010
Director:
Shana Feste
Writer:
Shana Feste
Starring:
Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Leighton Meester, Garrett Hedlund
MPAA Rating:
PG-13, thematic elements involving alcohol abuse and some sexual content
Runtime:
112 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating:
5.4
Rotten Tomatoes:
19%

I’ve many times heard people say Gwyneth Paltrow is horribly overrated as an actress. And every time I’ve heard that I’ve been very vocal in my complete disagreement with that assessment, because I really do think Ms. Paltrow is absolutely amazing in anything she’s in, and not one bit overrated. Now, as for Country Strong, her latest, I thought the film itself was ultimately a bit worse than I what I thought it would be like, but that’s because I actually had some pretty high expectations. But that being said, I still thought Ms. Paltrow was amazing in it, giving it her all as a country singer, tackling her character’s issues head-on and singing pretty damn good in the process, I actually had her performance here ranked as 19th in my favorite performances given by an actress in a leading role in all of 2010.

But yeah, Country Strong wasn’t that amazing even though Ms. Paltrow, and the rest of the cast at that, tried their best to make the film succeed. What happened was just a case of a pretty messy script, full of unnecessary clichés and dull bits that made the end result a rather sour affair. I still thought the film was much much better than what its 19% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes would seem to indicate, but my expectations for it were pretty high, I was expecting a film I would grade an A-minus, and what we got was a solid little B-grade film.

The four main castmembers (Ms. Paltrow, as well as Garrett Hedlund, Tim McGraw and Leighton Meester) are what make this film much better than its script would have warranted, they really get into their characters emotions and add a depth to them that most certainly wasn’t there in the screenplay. The balance these actors find within their characters is really something to behold, they make the film compelling all on their own.

Roger Ebert starts his review of the film (to which he awarded two-and-a-half stars out of four) saying that Country Strong is “one of the best movies of 1957”, and saying he means that as a total compliment but that, unfortunately, times have now changed. And that’s a pretty dead-on assessment of what we get here, a film that has a decidedly throwback feel, with good amounts of melodrama and several other thematic elements and characters you would have been more likely to have found five decades ago than just now.

Ms. Paltrow plays a character said by writer-director Shana Feste to have been inspired by Britney Spears, a country singer who has had her fair share of troubles, and who seems to have been released from rehab too soon for her own good. And I really did love how everything fit together here. I mean, sure, Country Strong was something less than what I thought we were gonna get, but that’s because it was something much different. And what we get is still pretty damn cool, full of awesome musical performances and Gwyneth Paltrow tackling a role that she makes all her own, embedding Kelly Canter with all her beauty and charisma and thus making her rather sympathetic.

Tim McGraw plays James, the man who married Kelly back in the day, and that now, after all her issues, remains by her side as a dutiful manager who wants to salvage a great career with a comeback tour, but that as a husband is still reeling with the blow of having lost his unborn baby when Kelly drunkenly fell off-stage at a concert and had a miscarriage. Garrett Hedlund plays Beau Hutton, a guy who also sings, and pretty damn well at that, but does it just for his and the people’s enjoyment, and not so much for the money side of it. Leighton Meester plays Chiles Stanton, a former beauty queen who wants a shot at music stardom and who has cast a spell on both James and Beau, but you also get a hint that those two feel a bit more than that towards Kelly.

The above reads as some really melodramatic fare, which Country Strong is, but it’s one done really efficiently, I mean, it has some very corny stuff in it, but the warmth and sympathy these actors put into their roles make it all work out in the end. And that’s really what a film like this ultimately needs, we know from the second we are introduced to Beau working at Kelly’s rehab center and then to Chiles that they’ll eventually join Kelly’s tour as the opening acts, but with all four main performers doing such a great job with their characters they make these icky situations feel quite real, at least emotionally speaking, which is what matters.

The tension between each of these characters is very soap opera-ish in its tension, Kelly is jealous of Chiles who in turn admires her while also is seemingly starting something up with Beau and James which creates an antipathy between those two, while James for his part is trying to save his broken marriage and Beau has some feelings towards Kelly.

It’s all very exaggerated, but I personally ate it all up, especially because I always ended up losing myself in the musical performances, which we impeccably performed by whomever took the stage (though, strangely enough, the only one who doesn’t is Tim McGraw). Country Strong was less than what I thought it would originally be, but I thought it was much more than people were saying, and I though Ms. Paltrow, as per usual, was just impeccable here.

Grade: B

Oscar Nominations: My Reactions

25 Jan

The Oscar nominations were announced bright and early this morning. And while most of the nominees were predictable, there were still quite a bit of storylines to take out of the morning’s announcements.

Firstly, of course, the outrageous snub of Christopher Nolan in the Best Director category, Inception might have made the Best Picture ballot and Mr. Nolan himself got his second career Screenplay nod, but the Academy yet again failed to mention him for Best Director to make room for the Coen brothers. Another snub was The Town, which ended up with a sole Oscar nomination and got snubbed in the Best Picture as well as Director and Screenplay races, the films nominated instead were still quite deserving, but still, too little love bestowed on such a great film.

Then, on a far more positive note, this was also the year in which films that came out of Sundance came out strong at the Oscars, which is terrific news for the independent film business, The Kids Are All Right and Winter’s Bone both got 4 nominations in major races, Animal Kingdom got a Best Supporting Actress bid, and four out of the five Best Documentary nominees were shown in Park City a year ago.

As for what the nominations will mean come the big night on February 27th, well, The King’s Speech certainly got a huge boost today, scoring an even dozen nominations, the most out of any film this year. That has some people jumping from The Social Network‘s bandwagon into the one driven by Harvey Weinstein, since for the last several decades the movie with the most nominations has won the Best Picture race 75% of the time. Now, let’s play statistics for a while here, I actually still think The Social Network will still win this for now, but the stock on The King’s Speech has certainly risen in the last few weeks. First, of course, was Saturday’s PGA win, and considering that association has bestowed its award to the eventual Best Picture winner 13 out of the last 20 years it means it has the odds going for it.

But then again, lets not forget just how much The Social Network has going for itself, it pretty much swooped the Critic’s groups awards, including big wins at the Globes and the National Board of Review. Not to mention that David Fincher is the clear front-runner to win not only the Best Director Oscar, but the DGA honors that will be announced on Saturday. And really, the Best Director winner is always considered the likely victor of the big race and, in fact, the winner of the DGA award has actually went on to have their film win the Best Picture Oscar 33 times in the last 40 years.

So, who really has the advantage? I honestly don’t know, this really is one seriously tough race to call, and I won’t call it until all the remained precursors are done with. Yes, the DGA will most likely go to The Social Network, but then the BAFTAs will presumably be all over The King’s Speech considering it’s a home-grown film. The PGA win by Tom Hooper’s film was big, yes, but so were the many Critic’s Associations and Globes wins by David Fincher’s movie. So, if I may interject, I think that the one awards show that may be a big indicator as to what will happen on Oscar night will be the SAGs, taking place this coming Sunday.

Hear me out for a while, the SAG obviously doesn’t have a Best Picture award, but rather a Best Ensemble one, meaning it will honor the combined acting performances of the cast in a film. And while I still think that the front-runner for that one is The Fighter (which has four seriously spectacular performances), I can see an upset happening courtesy of The King’s Speech. The Social Network won’t win that one, it has some great performances but it can’t compete acting-wise with those two other films, so that race will be the one to prove just how much support The King’s Speech has. And if it wins that one, then I probably will update my predictions and consider it the front-runner for the Oscar, because, remember, the SAGs have many times served as indicators of Oscar upsets, I’m obviously referring to 1998, when the SAG went to Shakespeare in Love, the same film that went on to win the Best Picture Oscar over the clear favorite, Saving Private Ryan, and most recently in 2005, when Crash ended up with the SAG win and ended up upsetting Brokeback Mountain for the Academy’s top honor.

So yes, this will be a Best Picture race for the ages, one I’m really excited for and one that will come down to the very end. Will The King’s Speech end up with the win? Consolidating itself as the biggest Oscar bait there ever was in 2010, a biopic about British monarchy counting with excellent performances all around and a spectacular director working form a brilliant script. Or, will The Social Network prevail? The film with very young up-and-coming actors, directed by a director that started out working on music videos and then went on to create some of the most masterful and popular films of the last decade and a half, one about a modern phenomenon and full of quick-witted, very fast and talkative scenes. It will be a New School vs. Old School battle to the very end, the historical dramas have fared very well in the past, I’m thinking Gandhi or The English Patient, but as of late, with winners like The Hurt Locker and No Country for Old Men, it feels as though the Academy is skewing more towards films oriented to younger audiences with a more gritty sort of feel. We’re in for one very entertaining race to the finish line.

But enough about the big race, I’m sure we’ll talk much more about that in the near future, but for now let us revise all the nominations announced by the Academy today.

BEST PICTURE

  • 127 Hours
  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • The King’s Speech
  • The Social Network
  • Toy Story 3
  • True Grit
  • Winter’s Bone

All the usual suspects here. I went 9 for 10 as far as my predictions go, considering Winter’s Bone felt the love from the Academy big time today and crept into the big party, throwing out my original prediction for the tenth slot: The Town. Again, as for who will actually win it, I have no idea, it’s a big split between The Social Network and The King’s Speech, and we’ll have a clearer idea of the state of the race once the remaining precursors are all said and done.

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Darren Aronofsky (for Black Swan)
  • Ethan Coen and Joel Coen (for True Grit)
  • David Fincher (for The Social Network)
  • Tom Hooper (for The King’s Speech)
  • David O. Russell (for The Fighter)

I went 4 for 5 in this one, considering I predicted the horribly snubbed Christopher Nolan to be invited to the party instead of the Coen brothers. However, True Grit got a massive ten nominations and the love went to the genius brothers instead. Which was well deserved, but it’s ridiculous that Nolan doesn’t have a Best Director nomination to his name yet. However, massive kudos to Darren Aronofsky for finally getting his first career nomination for helming what to me was the best film of 2010.

BEST LEAD ACTOR

  • Javier Bardem (for Biutiful)
  • Jeff Bridges (for True Grit)
  • Jesse Eisenberg (for The Social Network)
  • Colin Firth (for The King’s Speech)
  • James Franco (for 127 Hours)

Went a perfect 5-for-5 in this race, correctly predicting Javier Bardem’s nomination over Get Low‘s Robert Duvall. Still, Bardem’s nomination was much deserved, and it was awesome to see a foreign language performance getting a nod here. However, this has never been a race, the golden man probably has Colin Firth’s name engraved from this very moment.

BEST LEAD ACTRESS

  • Annette Bening (for The Kids Are All Right)
  • Nicole Kidman (for Rabbit Hole)
  • Jennifer Lawrence (for Winter’s Bone)
  • Natalie Portman (for Black Swan)
  • Michelle Williams (for Blue Valentine)

Another category in which I went 5-for-5 in my predictions. And it really is a lovely bunch of ladies getting nominated here, Michelle Williams got her extremely deserved nomination for her beautiful work in Blue Valentine and Jennifer Lawrence capped off her breakthrough year with an invite to Hollywood’s biggest party. This is, though, still a Portman vs. Bening battle, and even though I think Portman has the edge because hers was the better performance in the better film, I’ll wait until the SAGs are done on Sunday to call her a lock.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Christian Bale (for The Fighter)
  • John Hawkes (for Winter’s Bone)
  • Jeremy Renner (for The Town)
  • Mark Ruffalo (for The Kids Are All Right)
  • Geoffrey Rush (for The King’s Speech)

I predicted four out of the five here, the one I got wrong was Andrew Garfield who I thought would firmly land a nod but was bumped off by John Hawkes who was riding on the huge love given to Winter’s Bone here. Still, this is no contest, it’s Bale’s to lose, and he just won’t.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Amy Adams (for The Fighter)
  • Helena Bonham Carter (for The King’s Speech)
  • Melissa Leo (for The Fighter)
  • Hailee Steinfeld (for True Grit)
  • Jacki Weaver (for Animal Kingdom)

I’ve always said this was my favorite race of the year, and even though my personal #2 pick, Mila Kunis, was left out, it really still is. I said that if Hailee Steinfeld remained here and wasn’t voted as Lead, then either Ms. Kunis or Jacki Weaver would get the boot, I picked Kunis in my predictions but apparently the Academy really loved the Australian crime saga and wanted to give it a nod, as they should have, really. Still, this is the best race there can be this year, considering I could see any of these ladies potentially winning. Amy Adams was my personal favorite of the year, and she gives her best performance yet, and considering it’s her third nomination they may (and hopefully will!) give it to her. Helena Bonham Carter may find herself winning if The King’s Speech sweeps. Melissa Leo is the current favorite, and if she wins the SAG on Sunday then this will be hers. Hailee Steinfeld carries True Grit and the voters may like to reward a young one. And Jacki Weaver created one seriously compelling character here, though considering she missed out at the SAG I think she’s the less likely to end up winning.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • Another Year (written by Mike Leigh)
  • The Fighter (written by Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson)
  • Inception (written by Christopher Nolan)
  • The Kids Are All Right (written by Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg)
  • The King’s Speech (written by David Seidler)

I went 4 for 5 in this one, and the one I missed was the one that pains me the most not to see here which was the beautiful Black Swan screenplay, which I had in favor of Another Year, but I guess you can never count Mike Leigh out of this race, he’s just that good. As for who will win it, I would very much like to see The Kids Are All Right pick this one up, or if not then Christopher Nolan as a sort of apology from the Academy for not even nominating him for Best Director. But, most likely, this one will end up firmly in the hands of David Seidler.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • 127 Hours (written by Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy, based on the book by Aron Ralston)
  • The Social Network (written by Aaron Sorkin, based on the book by Ben Mezrich)
  • Toy Story 3 (written by Michael Arndt, based on the story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich)
  • True Grit (written by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, based on the novel by Charles Portis)
  • Winter’s Bone (written by Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini, based on the novel by Daniel Woodrell)

As I said in my predictions, Winter’s Bone was going to put up a fight to be honored in this category. In my predictions I had The Town listed instead of Debra Granik’s film, but, as I’ve already said, the Academy shout-out the Ben Affleck film outside of Jeremy Renner’s nod, so no love here either. I like Debra Granik’s script better though (had it 6th in my Best Screenplays of 2010 list, while The Town was 15th), so I’m happy about it. Still, there’s no way Aaron Sorkin is losing this one, but then again I said the same thing about Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner’s script for Up in the Air last year.

BEST ART DIRECTION

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I
  • Inception
  • True Grit
  • The King’s Speech

Very very good bunch of nominees here, the only film I could have seen making the cut and still be happy about it would have been Shutter Island, but nevertheless, this will be a very cool race. I’m hoping Inception will prevail here, though Alice in Wonderland may have something to say about that and, if it turns out to be a sweep, so may The King’s Speech.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • Black Swan
  • Inception
  • The King’s Speech
  • The Social Network
  • True Grit

If I would have to guess, I’d say True Grit will win this one. However, it was amazing to see Black Swan get listed here, though I would have liked to see The King’s Speech miss out on this race in favor of the wonderful job by the 127 Hours guys.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Io Sono l’Amore
  • The King’s Speech
  • The Tempest
  • True Grit

As I said in my review for The Tempest, you can never count any Julie Taymor film out of the Best Costume Design race (all four of her films have now been nominated), but still, this one will most likely go to Alice in Wonderland. Cool to see Io Sono l’Amore get a nod here, too.

BEST EDITING

  • 127 Hours
  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • The King’s Speech
  • The Social Network

Out of the technical categories, Best Editing is the one that foretells the Best Picture winner the most, so this one is one we should pay close attention to. Since the award was introduced nearly eight decades ago, only nine films have won Best Picture without being nominated here. Which I guess also goes to explain why Crash trumped over Brokeback Mountain. But still, the two Best Picture front-runners are here, so seeing who wins may be decisive as to who takes Best Picture. My vote goes to The Social Network here, and I still can’t fathom why Inception wasn’t named.

BEST MAKEUP

  • Barney’s Version
  • The Way Back
  • The Wolfman

They failed to recognize Alice in Wonderland in this one somehow, so I’m guessing this one’s definitely The Wolfman‘s.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

  • 127 Hours (composed by A.R. Rahman)
  • Inception (composed by Hans Zimmer)
  • The Social Network (composed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross)
  • The King’s Speech (composed by Alexandre Desplat)
  • How to Train Your Dragon (composed by John Powell)

Usual suspects in this one. Awesome to see Reznor and Ross up for this one, and they’re definitely my favorites to end up picking the award. However, Alexandre Desplat gets his fourth nomination with this one and still hasn’t won, so if The King’s Speech ends up owning the show he could win. However, Hans Zimmer’s score for Inception, which is all sorts of mind-blowing, may end up getting the win if the Academy feels it didn’t bestow enough nominations love towards the film, he hasn’t won an Oscar since The Lion King in 1995, despite being nominated 6 additional times since.

BEST SONG

  • If I Rise (from 127 Hours)
  • Coming Home (from Country Strong)
  • I See the Light (from Tangled)
  • We Belong Together (from Toy Story 3)

I honestly don’t know who will end up with the win here. All I know is that I’m happy no songs from Burlesque were named here.

BEST SOUND

  • Inception
  • The King’s Speech
  • Salt
  • The Social Network
  • True Grit

This is the one category that had most prediction experts baffled. Everyone predicted a maximum of 11 nominations for The King’s Speech, and this is the one nobody imagined, and the one that showed us just how much the Academy loved the film. As strange as it may sound, a Sound nomination is what really let us know that it was the front-runner.

BEST SOUND EDITING

  • Inception
  • Toy Story 3
  • TRON: Legacy
  • True Grit
  • Unstoppable

I really liked seeing TRON: Legacy here, and I was sure that The Social Network would get a nod here, but out of nowhere came Unstoppable and made the cut. Still, a cool and eclectic bunch.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I
  • Hereafter
  • Inception
  • Iron Man 2

I expected TRON: Legacy to make the cut here, but at least it got a Sound Editing nod so it didn’t go unmentioned. Still, if Inception loses this race the Oscars will have lost all credibility to me.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

  • Biutiful (from Mexico)
  • Dogtooth (from Greece)
  • In a Better World (from Denmark)
  • Incendies (from Canada)
  • Outside the Law (from Algeria)

This one’s always very tough to predict. But hopefully Biutiful will end up with the trophy.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • L’Illusionniste
  • Toy Story 3

This one isn’t a race at all, Toy Story 3 will win this one hands down.

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • Exit Through the Gift Shop
  • Inside Job
  • Gasland
  • Waste Land
  • Restrepo

No Waiting for Superman? Yeah, very very weird. Same with the lack of Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer. Still Inside Job would be a very cool winner, as would be Exit Through the Gift Shop, especially if we somehow get a Banksy appearance.

OscarWatch: Best Lead Actress

24 Jan

Since the Academy Award nominations will be announced bright and early Tuesday morning (!) I thought I’d do seven OscarWatch posts for the main races: Screenplay (encompassing both Original and Adapted), Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Lead Actor, Lead Actress, Director and Picture.

In them I’ll detail my thoughts on the given race and how I think things are starting to shape up considering we have now seen most of the precursor awards and count with BAFTA and SAG nominations. I’ll give my personal Top 20, with a brief paragraph on each, for any given race and detail which I think will be the nominees for the Oscars come Tuesday. In this post I’ll tackle…

Best Lead Actress

I’ll give my Top 20 performances given by actresses in a leading role in 2010, my brief thoughts on each and then I’ll say how I think the Oscar nominations for the category will look once they’re announced on Tuesday.

As for the state of the race itself, I’d very much like to call it a lock and say Natalie Portman will no doubt win this one. However, I don’t think we should count Annette Bening out just yet. I mean, I’d call it an 85% certainty that Ms. Portman will win this one, but Ms. Bening has already lost twice in this race (and I’m guessing that on both occasions she came in second in voting) so she’s due, and actors and audiences both love her, so an upset may occur.

Personal Top 20

  1. Natalie Portman (for Black Swan) – My favorite film of the year, my favorite performance of the year. I would love to see Annette Bening win because I thought she was robbed that first time she lost, but considering this performance by Ms. Portman then I’ll be sorry to tell her she should brace herself for a third loss.
  2. Michelle Williams (for Blue Valentine) – Michelle Williams I think I’ve never seen do a single bad thing. And she, alongside Ryan Gosling (who I ranked 3rd in my Best Lead Actor rankings), is just dynamite here. Providing a brutally honest and painful look at a very troubled marriage.
  3. Annette Bening (for The Kids Are All Right) – She’s undeniably great here, and she’s an awesome woman. The dinner scene at Paul’s house, from her singing that Joni Mitchell song, to finding out about her wife’s cheating and the expressions in her face, that’s all unbelievable acting from a woman who’s incredibly good at picking the right projects and is one of the best in the business.
  4. Jennifer Lawrence (for Winter’s Bone) – One of the breakout stars of 2010, she carries her little film to absolute greatness with a remarkably grounded performance which gives a speck of hope to a horribly bleak film.
  5. Nicole Kidman (for Rabbit Hole) – Nicole Kidman hasn’t been this good since The Hours. This was her passion project, she helped produce it and she stars in it, giving a gut-wrenching performance as a mourning mother.
  6. Julianne Moore (for The Kids Are All Right) – She goes head to head against Annette Bening in here, as her character goes through an emotional rollercoaster which she conveys to perfection.
  7. Carey Mulligan (for Never Let Me Go) – And I’ll say it one more time, Never Let Me Go, my official selection for the most underrated film of 2010. Carey Mulligan comes off her stellar star-making performance in last year’s An Education to star in this one, and she’s just amazing in it too.
  8. Lesley Manville (for Another Year) – Mike Leigh’s films are always an actor’s dream if the actor is willing to shed off any sort of vanity they may have and just lay it all on the line for the amazing director. Lesley Manville does just that, and the performance we end up seeing is a thing of beauty.
  9. Tilda Swinton (for Io Sono l’Amore) – I’m a big fan of Tilda Swinton, who already has an Oscar, and the work she did in this gorgeous Italian film is amazing, I seriously doubt a nomination will happen, but, much like Javier Bardem’s in the Best Lead Actor race, it would be kinda nice to see a foreign language performance get an acting nod.
  10. Noomi Rapace (for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) – She’s generating some very nice buzz for her role in this one, the first entry in the Swedish adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s novels, and it’s all well deserved. She has a toughness that’s just brilliant to watch develop.
  11. Anne Hathaway (for Love and Other Drugs) – This film is one I thought was severely underrated, and Anne Hathaway’s performance was truly amazing here. She won’t get nominated, but this only builds up her string of amazing acting in very solid films, and I can’t help but think she’ll get one of those golden men in the future.
  12. Kirsten Dunst (for All Good Things) – Consider this mention my official “welcome back” card for Ms. Dunst. We hadn’t seen her in anything for quite some time, so just the sight of her was something I cherished, the fact that she went on and delivered a very good performance was just additional icing on an already very sweet cake.
  13. Sally Hawkins (for Made in Dagenham) – Though this wasn’t as amazing as her performance in Happy-Go-Lucky (which the Academy failed to recognize) it was still buzzing with the charismatic energy Sally Hawkins has, and the film is a lighter than most Academy baits so it has that fresh appeal going for it.
  14. Annette Bening (for Mother and Child) – A double-honoree in my rankings here, this was a film I thought was seen by too few people and was also full of impeccable performances. Ms. Bening’s was the finest of the bunch, as is usually the case.
  15. Naomi Watts (for Fair Game) – To go toe to toe with Sean Penn, and actually manage to out-do him is something very few actors can accomplish. Naomi Watts does just that in Fair Game, a film in which she gets to play Valerie Plame and does some incredible things with the role.
  16. Diane Lane (for Secretariat) – This film was supposed to be much more an awards bait than it eventually turned out to be. But I still thought it was a very very good inspirational film, anchored by a very nice performance by Ms. Lane.
  17. Chloë Moretz (for Let Me In) – 2010 was also the year in which we discovered Chloë Moretz, first in Kick-Ass and then in Let Me In. The latter was the one in which she delivered her better performance, and, even though the film was well-received, very few people actually saw it. If you haven’t done so, please watch it, it’s nearly as perfect as the original Swedish film on which it’s based, and has Ms. Moretz bringing her A-game.
  18. Kristen Stewart (for Welcome to the Rileys) – You just have to watch Ms. Stewart’s non-Twilight roles to really see how great an actress she actually is. Yes, her style of acting may be the same in all her films, kind of fidgety and quiet, but that gives each of her characters something rather unique. In Welcome to the Rileys she plays a troubled girl to tremendous results, going head to head with James Gandolfini in some really tough scenes.
  19. Gwyneth Paltrow (for Country Strong) – The film eventually wasn’t as amazing as it first seemed it would be. But Gwyneth Paltrow was still amazing in it. I’ve heard a lot of people say she’s way overrated, but I disagree, I think she’s pretty damn awesome in everything she tackles.
  20. Amanda Seyfried (for Chloe) – As always, the final spot of my Top 20 goes to a sentimental favorite of mine. Here it’s Amanda Seyfried, who does wonders with the titular role in Chloe, having some electrifying scenes alongside Julianne Moore.

How I Think the Oscar Nominations Will Look Like (in alphabetical order)

  • Annette Bening (for The Kids Are All Right)
  • Nicole Kidman (for Rabbit Hole)
  • Jennifer Lawrence (for Winter’s Bone)
  • Natalie Portman (for Black Swan)
  • Michelle Williams (for Blue Valentine)

First time in my OscarWatch for the acting races that the five nominations I imagine the Academy will name matches five-for-five with my five favorite performances of the year. Natalie Portman and Annette Bening are the mortal locks, with the award itself being a fight between the two of them, a fight in which Ms. Portman currently has the edge. Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lawrence also look like very strong bets. As for that fifth slot, there’s a few ways in which that one could go, Michelle Williams I think will make the cut, and if she doesn’t I’d say it won’t happen because the voters will have put Hailee Steinfeld of True Grit as Lead instead of Supporting and she ended up bumping Ms. Williams off the shortlist.

Golden Globe Predictions

13 Jan

I still have four reviews left to do on 2010 films (namely: Blue Valentine, Biutiful, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest and Country Strong), but I’ve now seen all of the 2010 films I intend to see (210 in total) and thought that since I probably won’t do all four of those reviews in one swoop before the weekend I should do a post about my predictions for the Golden Globes, which are taking place this Sunday.

I’ll outline each category, list the nominees, do a brief parragraph about the state of the race and then pick the one I think is going to win, and the one I’d pick to win were the Globes up to me. And since I’m also an avid TV-watcher I’ll weigh in on those race, too.

BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

Nominees

  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The King’s Speech
  • The Social Network

State of the Race

Much like at the Oscar’s, one would think the big race is going to come down between The King’s Speech and The Social Network, and in all likelihood that’s what’s gonna happen at the Globes, too. However, don’t count The Fighter out of this one just yet, as it may ultimately deliver a huge upset and further establish itself as a real threat to the aforementioned two-pack come Oscar time, this is, after all, the same organisation that went with Babel in 2007, and with Atonement a year after that.

Who I Think Will Win

I’m guessing The Social Network here. It has pretty much swept through the precursor awards, and unless something bizarre happens then the Globe should be another trophy for its crowded mantelpiece, and a big stepping stone for the Oscar.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

If I ran the Globes then I would give the award to Black Swan, no questions asked. This to me was, far an out, the best film in all of 2010 and a true modern masterpiece.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

Nominees

  • Halle Berry for Frankie and Alice
  • Nicole Kidman for Rabbit Hole
  • Jennifer Lawrence for Winter’s Bone
  • Natalie Portman for Black Swan
  • Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine

State of the Race

Portman is thought to be a lock to win this one, and with good reason, she gives the best performance of her career in what, to me, was the best movie of the year, so she should no doubt get her second Globe (she has already won for Closer) and further cement herself as the leader of the pack come Oscar time. However, the Globes absolutely LOVE Nicole Kidman, having already bestowed three of their awards to her (To Die For in ’96, Moulin Rouge! in ’02 and The Hours in ’03) so that upset wouldn’t be that crazy.

Who I Think Will Win

Though the Kidman upset is something I could see happening this really is Portman’s to lose, and I don’t think she will.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

As I said, Ms. Portman delivers the best performance of her career in the best film of the year, so this should no doubt go to her. However, if by some reason she finds herself losing the award to Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine then I actually won’t be that pissed.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

Nominees

  • Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network
  • Colin Firth for The King’s Speech
  • James Franco for 127 Hours
  • Ryan Gosling for Blue Valentine
  • Mark Wahlberg for The Fighter

State of the Race

Look, the Best Actor race, in the Globes, or the SAGs, or the Oscars or in any other precursor award is not really a race at all. If you’ve seen The King’s Speech then you know what I mean, Colin Firth gives a masterclass in acting in that movie, and he won’t find himself losing any of the big ones. If I had to pick a threat to his throne I’d say Jesse Eisenberg or James Franco, but I really don’t see that happening.

Who I Think Will Win

Colin Firth, no questions asked. The man has had an illustrious career, and here he tops himself delivering a truly unbelievable performance that should easily grant him his first Globe.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

Much like in the Best Actress race, I’ll say there’s no way I wouldn’t give it to Mr. Firth. However, if he should lose to Ryan Gosling for Blue Valentine, then I won’t be so pissed.

BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

Nominees

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Burlesque
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • Red
  • The Tourist

State of the Race

This was the race that caused the most outrage when the nominations were announced. The quality of the films here, with the exception of the sublime The Kids Are All Right, is truly abysmal. Personally even, the grades I gave to the films are all over the place Alice in Wonderland got a B from me, Burlesque a C+, The Kids Are All Right an A+, Red a B and The Tourist a C+. Considering slots could have been filled with much worthier nominees such as Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Greenberg, Easy A, Cyrus or Love and Other Drugs this is really shameful.

Who I Think Will Win

The Kids Are All Right will probably be an eventual Best Picture nominee at the Oscars, as well as player in some of the other big races, while the other films won’t even in any sort of contention for any major awards at the Oscars. So yes, it’s The Kids Are All Right all the way here. Though considering the Globes were stupid enough to nominate this bunch of films an upset could somehow happen.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

As I said, I gave The Kids Are All Right an A+, while no other nominee got even a B+. Enough said.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

Nominees

  • Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right
  • Anne Hathaway for Love and Other Drugs
  • Angelina Jolie for The Tourist
  • Julianne Moore for The Kids Are All Right
  • Emma Stone for Easy A

State of the Race

With the exception of Angelina Jolie this race did have some worthy nominees. But considering the Best Actress race at the Oscars is thought to be a battle between Natalie Portman and Ms. Bening and the former isn’t in this race then I’d say the latter has this one in the bag.

Who I Think Will Win

Annette Bening, hands down. And I really don’t see any of the other nominees delivering an upset.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

And, again, Annette Bening, no question.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

Nominees

  • Johnny Depp for Alice in Wonderland
  • Johnny Depp for The Tourist
  • Paul Giamatti for Barney’s Vision
  • Jake Gyllenhaal for Love and Other Drugs
  • Kevin Spacey for Casino Jack

State of the Race

This is another race I really don’t understand. The HFPA obviously loves Johnny Depp (as we all do) but a single nomination would have done, especially considering that The Tourist was horrible and that nod could have gone to a much more deserving Ben Stiller for Greenberg.

Who I Think Will Win

If the HFPA loved him enough to nominate him twice for two sub-par performances considering what he’s done in the past, then I’d say they’ll love him enough again to actually give him the damned award for Alice in Wonderland.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

I actually haven’t seen Barney’s Vision yet, but my guess is that Paul Giamatti would be a deserving winner. My pick, however, would most certainly be Jake Gyllenhaal for Love and Other Drugs, a film I thought was rather underappreciated.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE

Nominees

  • Amy Adams for The Fighter
  • Helena Bonham Carter for The King’s Speech
  • Mila Kunis for Black Swan
  • Melissa Leo for The Fighter
  • Jacki Weaver for Animal Kingdom

State of the Race

The Best Supporting Actress race to me has been by far the toughest one to call throughout the whole season, as it’s full of equally deserving and amazing performances. I could genuinely see any of these five ladies winning the Globe and thinking they earned it. Just a very very tough one to call.

Who I Think Will Win

My guess is that it’ll come down between the two ladies of The Fighter. And with good reason since they’re both unbelievable in it. Melissa Leo has the flashier role and is loved by everyone in Hollywood, so she’d be the more conventional pick. But I’m biased towards Ms. Adams because I love her and actually thought she was better in it, so I’ll go ahead and bet on her.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

As I just said, Amy Adams I thought was amazing in The Fighter, but if I had to power to pick whichever one I wanted I probably would have to go with Mila Kunis, just because in a dream world Black Swan would sweep with everything.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE

Nominees

  • Christian Bale for The Fighter
  • Michael Douglas for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
  • Andrew Garfield for The Social Network
  • Jeremy Renner for The Town
  • Geoffrey Rush for The King’s Speech

State of the Race

The usual suspects here, and my guess is that at least four of them will repeat with an Oscar nomination. Michael Douglas is the one I think may not get an Oscar nomination, in favor of probably Mark Ruffalo or John Hawkes, but he got in with the Globes because they adore him. Though the race was once thought to be a head-to-head between Christian Bale and Geoffrey Rush the latest precursors have cemented Mr. Bale as the clear leader in the race.

Who I Think Will Win

Christian Bale should win this one easily, his was a knockout performance and I don’t see even Mr. Rush beating him. However, as I said, the HFPA loves Michael Douglas, and considering how much he’s gone through lately a win from him here wouldn’t be that out of the blue, though ultimately it’s still quite unlikely.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

I guess I’d give it to Bale, as well. Not only because his performance was terrific but because he’s due some recognition for his work, which he really hasn’t gotten in the past. Though a part of me would love to see Andrew Garfield winning this one.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Nominees

  • Despicable Me
  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • L’Illusionniste
  • Tangled
  • Toy Story 3

State of the Race

The state of the race with the Animated Film category is that it’s never really been a race. Toy Story 3 had this one in the bag the second it came out.

Who I Think Will Win

Again, this isn’t even a question. Toy Story 3.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

These are actually all very good animated films, but none comes close to achieve what the geniuses at Pixar did with Toy Story 3.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Nominees

  • Biutiful from Mexico and Spain
  • Le Concert from France
  • The Edge from Russia
  • Io Sono l’Amore from Italy
  • In a Better World from Denmark

State of the Race

To be honest I haven’t seen neither The Edge nor In a Better World, so I can’t really comment fairly in this race. However, Biutiful was such a knockout film to me, that I can’t see it losing. Though I0 Sono l’Amore would also be a worthy adversary.

Who I Think Will Win

I’m hoping Biutiful. However, maybe the film was a bit too tough and raw for voters to see in its entirety, or at all, and that may sway them in another direction.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

Biutiful. One of the most powerful films to have come out in all 2010.

BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE

Nominees

  • Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan
  • David Fincher for The Social Network
  • Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech
  • Christopher Nolan for Inception
  • David O. Russell for The Fighter

State of the Race

The Best Director race seems to be a six-way race, with Joel & Ethan Coen for True Grit trying to get into the race (most likely at the expense of David O. Russell), they failed to get in here and with the DGA, so I’m guessing they may also miss out at the Oscars, though you never know with those two geniuses.

Who I Think Will Win

I really can’t see a scenario in which Fincher doesn’t leave with the Globe firmly in his hands.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

Again, I’m biased as hell because I think Black Swan was the best film of the year by a mile, so I’ll say Aronofsky. Though Fincher is equally deserving.

BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE

Nominees

  • Simon Beaufoy and Danny Boyle for 127 Hours
  • Christopher Nolan for Inception
  • Stuart Blumberg and Lisa Cholodenko for The Kids Are All Right
  • David Seidler for The King’s Speech
  • Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network

State of the Race

This one also isn’t that much of a race, it’s Aaron Sorkin’s to lose. And he just won’t.

Who I Think Will Win

Mr. Sorkin has this one in the bag.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

I’m a lover fast dialogue and witty remarks, and as such there’s no way I wouldn’t give it to Aaron Sorkin.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE

Nominees

  • Alexandre Desplat for The King’s Speech
  • Danny Elfman for Alice in Wonderland
  • A.R. Rahman for 127 Hours
  • Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for The Social Network
  • Hans Zimmer for Inception

State of the Race

This one’s a pretty damn competitive race. Desplat, Zimmer and the Reznor and Ross collaboration all seem to have pretty good odds to me.

Who I Think Will Win

Again, I could potentially see all three of the ones I named above coming out winners, but if I had to guess I’d say that Hans Zimmer is the most likely to win for his fantastic score for Inception and pick up his third career Globe.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

Personally the score I loved the most was the one Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross created for The Social Network, so that’s definitely my pick. Not only that, but seeing Trent Reznor win a Globe and make a speech would be the icing on the cake.

Now over to the TV categories—

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

Nominees

  • Boardwalk Empire
  • Dexter
  • The Good Wife
  • Mad Men
  • The Walking Dead

State of the Race

Two rookie series making the shortlist, with Boardwalk Empire being a predictable entry and The Walking Dead being a much more surprising freshman nominee. Good stuff.

Who I Think Will Win

Mad Men hasn’t lost this category before, and my guess is that they’ll make it four in a row here, as they rightfully should. Though I could actually see an upset at the hands of Boardwalk Empire happening.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

Out of the five nominees Mad Men to me is by far the best series, so I would give it to them, no doubt.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

Nominees

  • Julianna Marguiles for The Good Wife
  • Elisabeth Moss for Mad Men
  • Piper Perabo for Covert Affairs
  • Katey Sagal for Sons of Anarchy
  • Kyra Sedgwick for The Closer

State of the Race

The usual choices in Marguiles, Moss and Segdwick. And then we have two more surprising picks in Sagal and Perabo. I was extremely happy to see Sagal nominated, since I think she’s riveting in Sons of Anarchy. As for Ms. Perabo, on the other, I’m not entirely sure what the HFPA was thinking with that nomination. Granted, I’ve only seen two episodes of Covert Affairs in my life, but unless Ms. Perabo seriously stepped up her game on the ones I haven’t seen I can’t really get the nomination.

Who I Think Will Win

I could see Ms. Sedgwick winning this one, but my guess is that the HFPA will go with Julianna Marguiles for her fantastic work in The Good Wife.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

I’m a huge fan of The Good Wife, so for me it’s Julianna Marguiles for sure. Though Elisabeth Moss I’d like seeing winning this one, too.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

Nominees

  • Steve Buscemi for Boardwalk Empire
  • Bryan Cranston for Breaking Bad
  • Michael C. Hall for Dexter
  • Jon Hamm for Mad Men
  • Hugh Laurie for House

State of the Race

Very solid picks here, with Steve Buscemi breaking into the pack for his amazing job in Boardwalk Empire’s first season, and Bryan Cranston finally getting in for his masterful job in Breaking Bad.

Who I Think Will Win

Bryan Cranston hasn’t lost at the Emmy’s for his performance in Breaking Bad so far, winning three times in a row, and yet the Globes hadn’t even nominated before, which I’m taking as a sign that they don’t love him as much. And because of that I’ll go ahead and say that Jon Hamm will pick up his second Globe for portraying Don Draper come Sunday. Though an upset at the hands of Buscemi is something I could see happening.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

Were it up to me I would no doubt give it to Cranston, no other nominee comes close to his level of acting in Breaking Bad.

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

Nominees

  • 30 Rock
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • The Big C
  • Glee
  • Modern Family
  • Nurse Jackie

State of the Race

Usual suspects here, too. Though I thought it was nice to see The Big C break into the race (most likely at the expense of The Office), however, as we saw last year, this race will probably come down to a fight between the two sophomore series: Modern Family and last year’s winner, Glee.

Who I Think Will Win

They rewarded Glee last year for it’s breakout first season, and while it’s having a very strong sophomore showing I’m hoping the HFPA will be smarter this time around and give the trophy to Modern Family.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

I’d give it to Modern Family. I was kind pissed it didn’t win last year so this one would be deserving.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

Nominees

  • Toni Collette for United State of Tara
  • Edie Falco for Nurse Jackie
  • Tiny Fey for 30 Rock
  • Laura Linney for The Big C
  • Lea Michele for Glee

State of the Race

Pretty predictable stuff here, with Laura Linney being the only newcomer in comparison to a year ago, replacing Cougar Town’s Courtney Cox. And to be honest, she’ll probably win it.

Who I Think Will Win

I loved Laura Linney in The Big C, I thought she did some really fine acting and the Globe should be hers, no problem.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

I’d get a knife and cut the Globe in two, give one half to Ms. Linney and the other to Ms. Fey.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

Nominees

  • Alec Baldwin for 30 Rock
  • Steve Carell for The Office
  • Thomas Jane for Hung
  • Matthew Morrison for Glee
  • Jim Parsons for The Big Bang Theory

State of the Race

Compared to last year, David Duchovny was exchanged for Emmy-winner Jim Parsons. And that’s a good thing, considering I have a feeling that Mr. Parsons may just win the Globe, too.

Who I Think Will Win

As I just said, I’m guessing Mr. Parsons will follow his Emmy victory with a much deserved win at the Globes. But then again, you really can’t ever count Alec Baldwin out. And, to be honest, I could also see a Matthew Morrison victory here, though I really wouldn’t like that one bit.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

Jim Parsons all the way.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Nominees

  • Hope Davis for The Special Relationship
  • Jane Lynch for Glee
  • Kelly MacDonald for Boardwalk Empire
  • Julia Stiles for Dexter
  • Sofia Vergara for Modern Family

State of the Race

Good stuff all around here, a varied pool of nominees who all have done terrific jobs.

Who I Think Will Win

I guess it’s common knowledge that Jane Lynch will be the favorite to win this one so long as she’s playing Sue Sylvester. But I have a hunch that my personal favorite, Kelly MacDonald, may be able to pull off an upset.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

Kelly MacDonald. Steve Buscemi may get the beefiest scenes to showcase his talents in Boardwalk Empire, but Ms. MacDonald is as much of a reason for my continued viewing of the superb HBO series.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Nominees

  • Scott Cann for Hawaii Five-0
  • Chris Colfer for Glee
  • Chris Noth for The Good Wife
  • Eric Stonestreet for Modern Family
  • David Strathairn for Temple Grandin

State of the Race

There’s not a single repeat nominee from last year, in which John Lithgow won for his stellar turn in Dexter, so that’s pretty interesting. Kudos to the HFPA for rewarding Mr. Caan with a nod, he’s the main reason why the reinvented Hawaii Five-0 is so good right now.

Who I Think Will Win

I would think Chris Colfer has the better shot at the trophy here.

Who I Would Give the Globe To

I wouldn’t mind seeing Mr. Colfer pick up the Globe here, as he’s really terrific in his dramatic scenes on Glee. Though Eric Stonestreet would also be a very welcome winner.

And that’s it for my Globe predictions. I realize it’s a horrible lenghty post, and I’m fearing it’ll all look bad and too long when displayed in the site, but I just thought I’d share my thoughts before the ceremony on Sunday. Next year I’ll give the predictions in bits and pieces and not in just one 3750+ word entry.