Thursday, August 4, 2011

2012 Oscar Predictions: August

This is going to be an interesting year for the Oscars. So far, it is shaping up to be a really strong awards season. Most of the buzzed films have yet to be released, and a ton of major directors have a film coming out this fall/winter. A few of the favorites, including We Bought a Zoo, J. Edgar, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close have yet to even release trailers. At this point, initial reviews have not even been speculated on, but there do seem to be some indications of early leaders in the clubhouse. Best Picture will be difficult because we don’t know how many movies will be nominated (somewhere between 5 and 10), so I will just go with 10, ranked of course. Here are my first predictions of 2011…


The Predicted Five

1. The Ides of March – It is another political movie by George Clooney and Grant Heslov. This one looks to be a major player.

2. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – Best trailer of the year? Maybe. Looks like a brilliant screenplay. This should be a hit.

3. War Horse – The Spielberg movie that everyone has proclaimed the frontrunner. Based on a beloved book. Even if it isn’t outstanding, it is Spielberg…it will be nominated several times.

4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – It is a Stephen Daldry film, so it will be nominated here. Written by winner Eric Roth. This should be a monster Oscar contender.

5. The Descendents – Alexander Payne’s first film since Sideways had an underwhelming trailer, but he has never taken a misstep. This will be great.

Others in contention

6. We Bought a Zoo – Cameron Crowe’s first movie in forever promises to be a hit. The cast looks incredible, and the story seems like Oscar-material.

7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – I wish I had more faith in the Academy’s taste, but I can see this getting almost completely shutout, no matter how good it is.

8. A Dangerous Method – Cronenberg movies are always a tough sell at the Oscars, but this movie seems a bit more their speed.

9. Moneyball – Aaron Sorkin, fresh off his Oscar, has another brilliant screenplay here. Baseball is never that popular with awards, but this looks different, especially with the amazing second trailer.

10. Hugo – Honestly, who knows how this movie will do? Up until Shutter Island, Scorsese couldn’t miss with the Oscars. This looks extremely weird and different. His next The Age of Innocence?

11. Carnage – I would have more faith in Polanski and his extraordinary cast, but it is based on a play (not always good for screenplay noms), and it has been reported to be like 75 minutes long. Weird.

12. We Need to Talk About Kevin – This has been hyped for its actors, and it seems like it could be the little movie that gets some screenplay love.

13. Coriolanus – Directed by Ralph Fiennes, this will surely get some viewers. Based on a Shakespeare play, it will certainly be well-written. Worth keeping an eye on.

14. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – Who knows how this will be treated? They could give the series some love in its last installment.


The Predicted Five

1. The Artist – This movie had massive buzz coming out of Cannes, and by the look of it, the Academy will eat it up.

2. J. Edgar – Eastwood movies haven’t gotten in as much recently, but this is written by Dustin Lance Black. It will be more their thing for sure.

3. Midnight in Paris – Woody Allen’s best film in 17 years. Its buzz will last until the winter…I hope.

4. Young Adult – Jason Reitman-Diablo Cody reunion. It will be in this category.

5. The Tree of Life – The buzz might seem to have died down now, but that is what happened with Inception too. People haven’t forgotten, I assure you.

Others in contention

6. The Iron Lady – The Meryl Streep-starring political movie. It seems like a WGA film, maybe not Oscar, though.

7. Martha Marcy May Marlene – Looks incredibly eerie, and has a really good indie drama cast. This could be one of those little movies that make a splash.

8. Violet & Daisy – Maybe the coolest-sounding movie of the year, written and directed by recent Oscar-winner Geoffrey Fletcher. Awesome cast too.

9. Shame – Steve McQueen’s next movie after the indie hit Hunger. Sounds like really strong stuff.

10. Bridesmaids – Got some of the year’s most glowing reviews, and it has strong female characters. Might slip in.

11. Like Crazy – Has a great young cast and a sweet atmosphere, from the trailer at least. It could be the relationship movie that makes noise.

12. My Week with Marilyn – It is about classic movie stars. The Academy voters should adore this, but I am not sure about the screenplay category.

13. Take This Waltz – Sarah Polley’s sophomore film sounds like a winner. She was nominated last time, so maybe 2 for 2?

14. Beginners – One of the more beloved early year releases. It may be too small, but it seems like Academy material.

15. This Must Be the Place – Totally weird-sounding, but Sean Penn is in it, so it has a chance.

16. Contagion – Looks strange, but Soderbergh and that cast are beyond appealing. It could be terrific.


The Predicted Five

1. Elizabeth Reaser – Young Adult – Sort of taking a stab with this, since I have no clue about the role, but she seems like the Reitman supporting female that could shine. Cody will write her a good part.

2. Judi Dench – J. Edgar – Just because she is always there, and Eastwood’s actors are as well.

3. Sandra Bullock – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Seems like the justification nomination that the Academy always likes to give. Plus it is Daldry, so it will be a good role and well-directed.

4. Sarah Silverman – Take This Waltz – May sound ridiculous (and it might turn out to be), but this movie seems like Oscar stuff. And she is third-billed and supposed going full frontal in the movie. And it is drama. It could happen…right?

5. Viola Davis – The Help – The movie looks very light, but she appears to have a character that could make it 2 noms in 4 years.

Others in contention

6. Vanessa Redgrave – Coriolanus – I just have a feeling that this movie will be popular. She is always close to getting in.

7. Kate Winslet – Carnage – She is Winslet, so she will be in contention. Polanski movies don’t always click, but this one will most likely (at least for its actors).

8. Marisa Tomei – The Ides of March – She appears to have a meaty role and very well could make it if the film is indeed as good as it promises to be.

9. Keira Knightley – A Dangerous Method – Being directed by Cronenberg will assure that her character will be like nothing she has done before. That is sometimes rewarded.

10. Naomi Watts – J. Edgar – Until we get a trailer, all of the cast members are legitimate contenders.

11. Jennifer Lawrence – Like Crazy – Her part might be small, but coming off a brilliant breakout performance, they might want to continue to capitalize on her undeniable young talent.

12. Emma Watson – My Week with Marilyn – With the Potter movies finally over, they could easily validate the highest paid actress in the world in basically her first non-Potter role.


The Predicted Five

1. Albert Brooks – Drive – This incredible-looking film seems to have an insane role for the veteran actor. Would be a sweet comeback.

2. Kenneth Branagh – My Week with Marilyn – Playing Laurence Olivier will certainly give him his scenes. He could win this thing if he gets the Olivier quirks down.

3. Christoph Waltz – Carnage – This would be a cool out-of-nowhere nomination. Polanski will certainly push him, and he could walk away with the movie, as he did in his Oscar role.

4. Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Ides of March – He has a great-looking role, and he is always invited. This would be a cool, safe, harmless nomination for the Academy.

5. Niels Arestrup – War Horse – The always reliable actor is in what many consider to be the can’t-miss frontrunner film, and it is as the grandfather role. He will probably have a few heartbreaking Oscar scenes.

Others in contention

6. Christopher Plummer – Beginners – I wouldn’t bet against him, but I just have a feeling that this will go unnoticed during awards season.

7. Viggo Mortensen – A Dangerous Method – Playing a real person, and Cronenberg has directed him to a nom in the past.

8. Tom Hardy – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – He is always awesome, and this could be a great supporting role for him. He is surrounded by actors who will get the best out of him.

9. Brad Pitt – The Tree of Life – At one point, he appeared to be a shoo-in. He deserves the nom for sure, but I sort of doubt it now. Maybe lead for Moneyball?

10. Jim Broadbent – The Iron Lady – Playing the husband role to Streep can bring greatness. Tucci in Julia & Julia got some buzz, even.

11. Tom Hanks – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Talking about Hanks in a supporting role seems odd, but I really do not think he is lead in this.

12. Brian Cox – Coriolanus – He is always superb, and this Shakespeare adaptation will give him his time to shine. It is about time he gets a nom, don’t you think?

13. Philip Seymour Hoffman – Moneyball – I just can’t ignore the fact that he looks perfect in this movie and it is the director who he won for.


The Predicted Five

1. Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady – They have to give her another win at some point, right? They can’t just keep nominating her every year.

2. Michelle Williams – My Week with Marilyn – Biopic role of an industry icon is certain to give her a ton of great scenes. She also has a couple more great roles this year to staple her nomination.

3. Tilda Swinton – We Need to Talk About Kevin – Her performance was one of the main buzzed ones out of the early year festivals, and many pundits are calling her a lock for a nomination.

4. Elizabeth Olsen – Martha Marcy May Marlene – Mary-Kate and Ashley’s younger sister has garnered incredible buzz for this role. She can get a nomination with basically her first acting role, playing opposite John Hawkes and a few other indie stars.

5. Rooney Mara – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – She will have the most difficult role that anyone will play this year, and she is sure to nail it with Fincher at the helm. If she garners some precursors, watch out. She could win this.

Others in contention

6. Charlize Theron – Young Adult – Two-time nominee being directed by an Academy favorite. She is always in the running.

7. Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs – Written and starring Close, this period piece is certain to get her some attention. She is also known as one of the best actors without an Oscar, so they might want to reward her while they still can.

8. Berenice Bejo – The Artist – One of the Oscar frontrunners. There is always a newcomer it seems, and she could be that person.

9. Carey Mulligan – Shame – A recent nominee, and playing with that superb cast, she will definitely be challenged. She is one of the most talented young actresses in the industry as well.

10. Felicity Jones – Like Crazy – At the center of that love story that won Sundance is Jones and Anton Yelchin. Since Best Actress is a bit weaker, I am not counting her out yet. Yelchin’s climb will definitely be uphill, though.

11. Anne Hathaway – One Day – Looks really slight, but her accent appears to be spot-on, and it is directed by An Education director Lone Sherfig.

12. Michelle Williams – Meek’s Cutoff – A very highly praised early year release might have enough indie fans to make the steam last until Oscar time.

13. Michelle Williams – Take This Waltz – Opposite the likes of Sarah Silverman and Seth Rogen, we know that she is going to be doing something different. She has three great roles this year, only one of which can be rewarded, unfortunately. Let’s hope she gets one in.


The Predicted Five

1. Jean Dujardin – The Artist – Won the Cannes Best Actor award. Could he be this year’s Adrien Brody? I think so.

2. Leonardo DiCaprio – J. Edgar – I can’t see him not getting in being directed by Eastwood and getting snubbed for two roles last year.

3. Gary Oldman – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – Appears to finally be Oldman’s time to get a nomination after every movie buff in the world saying that his lack of noms is one of the biggest crimes ever.

4. Ryan Gosling – The Ides of March – I am not sure how showy his role is, but he always understates his characters. I am holding out hope that he can finally get his second nomination.

5. Michael Fassbender – Shame – Appears to be a fantastic role for the breakout star, but the word on the film is very quiet as of right now. We will see where this goes.

Others in contention

6. George Clooney – The Descendents­ – He always gets nominated, but I just have a feeling that they will take a break from him this year and give him his director dues instead.

7. Ryan Gosling – Drive – The movie looks astonishing, and he always has to in the discussion.

8. Sean Penn – This Must Be the Place – Penn playing against type will certainly raise some eyebrows, but is the movie big enough? I am not so sure.

9. Brad Pitt – Moneyball – Maybe the coolest underdog movie of the year. If it really is as good as it could be, then Pitt will be swept in for sure.

10. Jeremy Irvine – War Horse – Debut performance in one of the Best Picture hopefuls. He will need to blow everyone away to get in.

11. Michael Fassbender – A Dangerous Method – Directed by Cronenberg is intriguing, and the film being about real people will help his cause, but can he steal the show from Mortensen, a favorite in Cronenberg pictures? Could be.

12. Matt Damon – We Bought a Zoo – The word on this movie is just so quiet that I cannot really warrant predicting mass love for it yet. The movie still hasn’t completely wrapped yet, either.

13. Owen Wilson – Midnight in Paris – If the movie is beloved by the Academy, he will be the token acting nomination for the film. He was spot-on in that role.

14. Johnny Depp – The Rum Diary – This one has been delayed a few times, but Depp is so popular that he could streak to yet another nomination.

15. Mel Gibson – The Beaver – This could be the WTF nomination of the year. Some people adored it, and basically everyone else did not see it. If they want a great comeback story, this will be it. It won’t happen, though. It will need a monster DVD run, but people are just so turned off to Gibson that there is almost no shot of that.


The Predicted Five

1. George Clooney – The Ides of March – Seems like an Oscar movie, and it has a cast to die for. This promises to be Clooney’s best movie to date.

2. Steven Daldry – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Never underestimate his fans. He is 3 for 3 with Best Director nominations for his films.

3. Michel Haznavicius – The Artist – Maybe I am expecting a bit too much with this, but I can see this being the throwback gem that the Academy adores.

4. Steven Spielberg – War Horse – He is going to get nominated, it is just a matter of whether he will win or not. This looks like his next big, epic masterpiece.

5. Clint Eastwood – J. Edgar – It is time that he ends his drought. This movie will be totally the Academy’s speed, unlike Invictus, Hereafter, Changeling, and Gran Torino.

Others in contention

6. Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life – Everything I have read makes it seem like they are just dying to give this guy an Oscar. He deserves it, but the movie needed to be more unanimous.

7. Martin Scorsese – Hugo – I hope that the Academy doesn’t just neglect his work now that he has won, but this movie just looks too weird, but it is Marty…it will be great.

8. Alexander Payne – The Descendents – I hope the movie is better than I am expecting. If it is as popular as Sideways, Payne will certainly get nominated here.

9. Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris – The Academy cannot resist a good Allen movie. This is a great one.

10. Bennett Miller – Moneyball – Past nominee making his second first feature since his nomination in 2005. He needs to be mentioned.

11. Nicolas Winding Refn – Drive – Won the Cannes Best Director. Could this be this generation’s The French Connection, the action movie that transcends genre? I suppose it is possible. The trailer is awesome.

12. Cameron Crowe – We Bought a Zoo – Never been nominated in this category before, but this movie seems most like an Academy movie. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him here.

13. Tomas Alfredson – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – The director is still young and has plenty of time to get in, but if the movie is really as good as it appears, he will slide in for sure.

14. David Fincher – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Should have won last year. If the Academy doesn’t love it, they might still want to recognize him for the atrocious snub.

15. Jason Reitman – Young Adult – Has two straight nominations, but I can’t see him getting in for a third. He is way too young to have that kind of run.

16. Simon Curtis – My Week with Marilyn – I think the movie will be a big hit, but this is his first movie.

17. Drake Doremus – Like Crazy – The Sundance darling will need to have a great box office to get this kind of love, but with its cool young cast, it might.

18. Sarah Polley – Take This Waltz – She has gotten a screenplay nomination in the past, so this is not out of the question.


The Predicted Ten (I predict 7 will get in)

1. The Ides of March – This has so much going for it that I cannot help but put it number one. The cast, director, and premise all promise greatness.

2. The Artist – There are so many old Oscar voters (only explanation for how The King’s Speech wins Best Picture), and this seems like the perfect throwback to the Golden Age of movies. It will be a smash hit.

3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Stephen Daldry makes the movie instantly a contender, and the cast of Bullock, Hanks, Goodman, von Sydow ensure its popularity. This could be right up there all awards season.

4. J. Edgar – It is strange to think that we can call it a comeback, but Eastwood has not gotten a nomination in four films. That is a ridiculous stat considering the films. This appears to be the one that will force the Academy to embrace him again.

5. War Horse – Everything with this film points to Oscar sweep, but those films have not been doing that recently. It will be nominated everywhere, but the wins might not come showering in the way everyone seems to think they will.

6. Midnight in Paris – One of the best earlier releases of the year and a legendary filmmaker at the helm. He has not exactly raked in Best Picture nominations in his career, but the bigger number of nominees ensures he will be there.

7. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – This thriller by the director of Let the Right One In looks to be the real deal. If it can get the British vote, then it will be a lock.

8. The Tree of Life – This will get a fair amount of number one votes, but the people who do not love it tend to think it is trash. I do not think there will be 8 nominees, so this might get left out, unfortunately.

9. Young Adult – This appears to be a bit too conventional to get the love of Juno or Up in the Air, but the talent involved should give it a chance.

10. The Descendents – Alexander Payne’s film looks good, but it will need to be outstanding to get the necessary 5% of votes to get in.

Others in contention

11. Hugo – Scorsese’s film just doesn’t look like the Oscar thing, but it is Scorsese, so he is always in the hunt.

12. Like Crazy – The Sundance winner will definitely find an audience, but will it be unanimous the way Winter’s Bone and Precious were? That remains to be seen, but the buzz is not close to as strong as it was for those two.

13. We Bought a Zoo – Cameron Crowe cannot make a bad movie, and this cast looks tremendous. We need a trailer, though. We do not know anything about its Oscar potential.

14. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Fincher will hopefully get his Oscar someday after last year’s travesty snub. This just isn’t it. It will need to be The Silence of the Lambs-level appeal, box office, acting, tone, and originality to have a shot. I wouldn’t put it against Fincher, though, who is always looking to push the envelope.

15. Drive – The trailer is astonishing. Movies like this do not win awards at Cannes, but this one did. That is what my hopes are lying on. Plus, Gosling chooses his projects very wisely.

16. My Week with Marilyn – It will certainly have its fans, but that group might be a bit too small. Acting awards could come aplenty, as long as they do not caricature those classic actors.

17. A Dangerous Method – The most serious movie that Cronenberg has made in a long time, but I just do not see this being a massive hit. It will need a strong box office number to stand a chance.

18. Moneyball – Movies about baseball do not do well, but this movie is written by two Oscar winners and directed by a filmmaker whose first film they adored. And the Brad Pitt factor helps. It will need to be either the best written movie of the year or one of the highest grossing. I cannot see that happening, but it is possible.

19. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – Will they want to give this movie the awards that they held from the previous ones? I cannot see it getting the necessary number one votes from the Academy.

20. Carnage – Polanski films are always in the mix, but this one appears to be one of those small one-room, four-actor talky movies. Those do not get Best Picture awards.

21. Take This Waltz – It is going to be difficult for this to get in if we do not hear something about it soon. The buzz is very quiet, and my anticipation/predictions are all on potential for this film.

So, what do you think? Did I miss anything? Let me know with your comments.

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