Tag Archives: David O. Russell

[Oscars 2013] – Predicting The Nominations

9 Jan

An actual Oscar statuette to be presented during the 79th Annual Academy Awards sits in a display case in Hollywood

I still have a few 2013 releases to catch up with, and I though I wanted to make my Oscar nominations predictions post having seen all of them, the nods are due early tomorrow morning so I’ll have to post them now.

Continue reading

[Review] – Silver Linings Playbook

21 Nov

Title: Silver Linings Playbook
Year: 2012
Director: David O. Russell
Writer: David O. Russell, based on the novel by Matthew Quick
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Anupam Kher, Julia Stiles, Chris Tucker
MPAA Rating: R, language and some sexual content/nudity
Runtime: 122 min
IMDb Rating: 8.1
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Metacritic: 82

A lot has already been said about Silver Linings Playbook after it surprised virtually everyone when it won the People’s Choice Award at this year’s TIFF over Argo. It’s been said that it’s now one of the five front-runners to win the Best Picture Oscar, that Jennifer Lawrence is the front-runner to win Best Actress, that Bradley Cooper gives the best performance of his career, that Robert De Niro gives the best one he’s given in over a decade. All of that, by the way, is actually true. This is a tremendously successful film that walks a tightrope that’s been walked on by more than a few films before it, but that walks it way better than them because of his cast and this exceedingly talented director.

Continue reading

[Trailer] – Silver Linings Playbook

28 Jun

The trailer for a movie that’s sure to get some pondering over come the awards season, Silver Linings Playbook, is now out, and you can watch it after the cut.

Continue reading

Oscar Predictions: Best Picture and Director

25 Feb

This is the last of my Oscar Predictions posts, in which I tackle the two main races: Best Director and, of course, Best Picture. These two races will see Sunday’s two main players pitted against each other, with The Social Network and The King’s Speech considered the front-runners for both categories.

Most are saying they will split the two, with the British biopic getting the big one, and David Fincher nabbing the Best Director statue for his work on the Facebook film. Some are saying The King’s Speech will get both, some say the same of The Social Network, so yes, there’s a nice variety of ways these two races could go. Read on through for my opinions.

BEST PICTURE

Nominees

  • Black Swan (Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin)
  • The Fighter (David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg)
  • Inception (Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan)
  • The Kids Are All Right (Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray)
  • The King’s Speech (Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin)
  • 127 Hours (Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson)
  • The Social Network (Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin)
  • Toy Story 3 (Darla K. Anderson)
  • True Grit (Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen)
  • Winter’s Bone (Anne Rosselini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin)

So, The King’s Speech or The Social Network? How this race has evolved has been the highlight of the 2010 awards season to me, The Social Network seemed unstoppable early on, winning every critic’s group award, the Golden Globe, nothing seemed to stand in its way to get the big one come Oscar night.

But then Harvey Weinstein came up with The King’s Speech and that one started killing it, winning the PGA, DGA, SAG, BAFTA, pretty much every single big award it could after that initial Social Network streak, and it’s now considered the clear front-runner.

This is obviously a question of new versus old. The tough, gritty, relevant and modern The Social Network, acted out by up-and-coming actors, a film in which there’s really no hero, no one to root for. And it’s standing against The King’s Speech, the sort of movie Oscar used to love, a biopic about the British monarchy, made by many veteran actors and which definitely tugs at the voters heartstrings with the warm relationship and message at the heart of the film.

My personal pick is actually Black Swan, but amongst these two I love The Social Network the most, I mean, to base a film on Facebook is daring enough, but to have the end product by this masterful, no one really saw that coming.

I’m gonna go and say The King’s Speech will win this one because it seems like it will, even though The Social Network is the better film. But don’t write out The Social Network just yet, it may seem like it’s all said and done, but a last minute revival may occur.

Should Win: Black Swan
Will Win: The King’s Speech

BEST DIRECTOR

Nominees

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

In my mind there should be a tie between Darren Aronofsky and David Fincher, the two are masters of their craft, and yeah, they should split the golden man up between the two.

But in all honesty, this one’s David Fincher’s. Even if The King’s Speech sweeps the night I think this one will still go to The Social Network. I mean, if a film about a social networking site and the story behind it was as compelling and intriguing and plain out entertaining as this was it’s because of how this man handled the material, sheer perfection.

Should Win: Darren Aronofsky/David Fincher
Will Win: David Fincher

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 Director

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 Director

I’ll give my Top 20 picks for best job at directing a film 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, I actually would stop calling it a race at all anymore. This award, no matter the outcome of the Best Picture one, will end up in David Fincher’s hands for sure.

Personal Top 20

  1. Darren Aronofsky (for Black Swan) – Yes, the award will go to David Fincher, but Darren Aronofsky is my personal pick for an inch. And that’s because Black Swan was my favorite film of the year by so much more than an inch. This is a masterpiece, a magnificent triumph in filmmaking, and Darren Aronofsky did a perfect job handling the reigns of it.
  2. David Fincher (for The Social Network) – David Fincher is the real deal, you look at his filmography and the titled you see are spellbinding: Fight Club, Se7en, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Zodiac. This is a guy who has made some of the definitive films of the last decade and a half, and this may just be his crowning achievement, just an amazing job by him.
  3. Christopher Nolan (for Inception) – The smartest film of all 2010, the kind of film that had you really working to keep up with it, and craving a repeat viewing to see what you may have missed. This was all executed to perfection by Christopher Nolan, who also wrote the film and was in charge of making “Did it stop spinning?” one of the most asked questions of all last year.
  4. Derek Cianfrance (for Blue Valentine) – I kind of fell in love with this film when I saw it, and it had a lot to do with the two lead performances. And those performances were directed to perfection by Derek Cianfrance, who also co-wrote the film and crafted a gorgeous look at a painful marriage.
  5. Edgar Wright (for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) – I’m a massive fanboy of Edgar Wright, and I’m also a massive fanboy of the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels. When I first heard he was the one to be put in charge of bringing them to life I thought that if anyone was to succeed at that task it was probably going to be him. And sure enough, he created one of the most original and fun films of 2010 with a marked imprint of his very unique vision.
  6. Lisa Cholodenko (for The Kids Are All Right) – This is a wonderful film and it the woman handling the reigns, and also the one who co-wrote it, is at ease here, exploring very complex human emotions and situations. An exemplary piece of work.
  7. Joel Coen & Ethan Coen (for True Grit) – I’m starting to think there should be a campaign to name the Coen brothers the definitive American filmmakers of our time. They always tackle very different topics, eras, and genres, and they always produce work of the highest of qualities. Here they go forth an make a western, the genre you’d never suspect would fit to their artistic sensibilities, and yet the wonderful language of the book they adapted, as well as the perfect group of actors they got made it look easy for them to craft a seriously great film.
  8. Tom Hooper (for The King’s Speech) – This is probably the most prestigious film of 2010. Everyone loves it, it marries to perfection the historical biopic film aspects with mass appealing themes, and it has Tom Hooper sitting firmly on the director’s chair, working with a bunch of very talented and recognized thespians. He did a truly amazing job here, and if Fincher wasn’t such a lock to win the Oscar I’d call Mr. Hooper his biggest threat.
  9. Sofia Coppola (for Somewhere) – I’ll forever be a lover of everything Sofia Coppola does. And Somewhere is no exception, coming back from the larger scaled Marie Antoinette to return to the quiet, patient and beautifully observant films she does so well. Marie Antoinette was actually pretty amazing, but this is a return to her comfort zone, to where her aesthetic lies and where she can excel at telling small but beautiful stories.
  10. Ben Affleck (for The Town) – Here was the film that confirmed to everyone that Ben Affleck as a director is most certainly the real deal and not a one-hit-wonder who got lucky with the sublime Gone Baby Gone. He directs an all-star cast to some spectacular performances (I gave five of the film’s performances mentions in previos OscarWatch posts, including the one Mr. Affleck gave himself), and creates a bank heist movie that feels really fresh and doesn’t abuse any of the many genre clichés that would have been so easily to fall into for any lesser talented filmmakers.
  11. Danny Boyle (for 127 Hours) Slumdog Millionaire, his Oscar-winning previous effort, was going to be a tough act to follow. And Danny Boyle traded the very busy and loud streets of Mumbai and its many characters for a canyon in Utah in which his single character would be trapped for most of the film. And it paid off tremendously, with Mr. Boyle adding a very different and yet equally deserving film to his outstanding resumé.
  12. Debra Granik (for Winter’s Bone) – This was one very very cool cinematic experience for me in 2010, and how Debra Granik portrayed this very tough and very real region of the U.S. was just impeccable. Anchored by some awesome performances from breakout star Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes this was just a sensation film.
  13. Mark Romanek (for Never Let Me Go) – The music video director went back to feature films for the first time since One Hour Photo, and the result is the film that I have been calling the most underappreciated movie of 2010 in pretty much every OscarWatch post yet. This really was a beautiful adaptation of the Kazuo Ishiguro novel, full of pitch-perfect performances and able to create a very unique and fitting mood.
  14. Lee Unkrich (for Toy Story 3) – Pixar keeps its perfect streak alive with Toy Story 3, as the film managed to tell a story about growing up, about the blows life may deal us with, about friendship and love. It had huge laughs, great adventures, tearful moments, and everything else one could have wished for.
  15. David O. Russell (for The Fighter) – I loved The Fighter, and a lot of it had to with how David O. Russell chose to tell this story. Not using the many familiar themes and motifs that were available to huge extents, but using them as a backbone to tell a story that we all knew how it would end and still making it exciting and getting amazing performances from every single member of his cast.
  16. Mike Leigh (for Another Year) – There’s probably not a single living director who’s better at exploring the human psychology during everyday tasks than Mike Leigh. And Another Year is another prime example of why that is, this is just one very very good film, with a trio of awesome performances and a great overall feel.
  17. Noah Baumbach (for Greenberg) – Noah Baumbach is a guy I think can do no wrong. Greenberg is an exquisite exploration of its main character, a guy who’s not that easy to love, but who’s actually very easy to relate to and really care for. The situations created and explored by Mr. Baumbach and his cast, all of whom are uniformly excellent (especially Ben Stiller and the lovely Greta Gerwig), are just terrific to watch.
  18. Clint Eastwood (for Hereafter) – I know some people didn’t love Hereafter, but I thought it was tremendous. And that was mostly because of Mr. Eastwood, who got some very fine performances from his cast and dealth with a very interesting topic in a very interesting way. Why some people weren’t so fully on board with this film is something I won’t ever really understand.
  19. John Cameron Mitchell (for Rabbit Hole) – This was a very difficult film to really manage. And yet the result was something spectacular, with John Cameron Mitchell dealing with the hard material wonderfully, directing Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart to some perfect performances in the process.
  20. Matthew Vaughn (for Kick-Ass) – Last spot in the rankings goes to Matthew Vaughn, who directed one of the funnest films in all 2010 and captured to perfection the graphic novel style of it all, crafting memorable characters and scenes, not to mention that this was what sparked Chloë Moretz’s career, so we have him to thank for that.

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

  • 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)

I think Aronofsky, Fincher, Hooper and Nolan are all 100% sewn up to get nominations. And the fifth slot is a battle between David O. Russell and the Coen brothers for True Grit, but with the latest precursors indicating that the former holds the advantage in that square-off.

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.