Tuesday, October 18, 2011

2012 Oscar Predictions: October

The Oscar race has started to take shape in the last couple months. A handful of the projected contenders have come out in theaters to overall mixed reception. There are still most of the Oscar movies waiting to get released, which is probably for the best, because by that time all of these movies will have already disappointed and been forgotten. Here is how I see the race looking as of right now:


The Predicted Five

1. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - The trailer looks alright, but the Academy will eat this up.

2. The Descendents – I do not know if they want to give Payne two consecutive Oscars, but the early word on this is fantastic, despite the underwhelming trailers.

3. War Horse – This movie is likely one of the frontrunners, and those are always nominated for screenplay.

4. The Ides of March – The screenplay is really tight, but the reviews for this were not necessarily unanimous. This category is the best shot it has, though.

5. The Help – The box office performance is astonishing for this movie. That will translate into a massive Oscar push and likely quite a bit of success.

Others in contention

6. Moneyball – Leftover love for The Social Network might help Sorkin, but I am not convinced that this category is the lock it once appeared to be.

7. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – This is not having great early reviews, but this seems like the British movie that could take the Academy by storm.

8. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – The trailers have been amazing, but it may be too similar to the original and too soon. We will see how this is perceived, but the script will likely be top notch.

9. Carnage – The trailer looks pretty amazing, but these limited character films do not normally get screenplay nominations. Look for massive Golden Globe love for this one.

10. A Dangerous Method – This movie is a wildcard. No one really knows what to expect, but the trailers are great. Cronenberg has not made a bad movie in a long time.

11. We Need to Talk About Kevin – This could be the gritty indie comedy that the Academy loves, but I am not convinced yet. Acting nominations are more likely.

12. We Bought a Zoo – Wasn’t enthusiastic about the trailer, but this is its most likely nomination spot.


The Predicted Five

1. The Artist – This is Oscar stuff. Nothing really else to say.

2. Yong Adult – Reitman movies seem to just always be in the running for this category. Cody will get her second nomination for sure.

3. Midnight in Paris – Woody Allen’s biggest box office ever and his movie creative script in over 15 years.

4. Like Crazy – The Sundance darling will certainly have its Academy following. I am betting this will sweep audiences off their collective feet.

5. The Tree of Life – I am still holding out hope that this will get major Oscar nominations, foolishly maybe.

Others in contention

6. J. Edgar – The trailer was not a big hit, but with Clint at the helm, it is never out of the running.

7. Martha Marcy May Marlene – The last two films of this type were nominated for screenplay, but will the Oscars go for more light films this year? Possibly.

8. Take This Waltz – Sarah Polley’s second film is way under the radar, hopefully not too far.

9. Bridesmaids – Horrible movie that everyone apparently loved. But if Apatow cannot get nominated, why would this?

10. Beginners – This just wreaks of being that movie like Another Year that will sneak into the screenplay category at the last possible second after being completely written off.

11. Rampart – Moverman was nominated for his last film, which was similarly under the radar.


The Predicted Five

1. Sandra Bullock – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Her part in the trailer looks really good, and it takes a lot for me to compliment her.

2. Judi Dench – J. Edgar – Default nominee in this category. The actor branch adores her.

3. Octavia Spencer – The Help – This is the kind of odd, likable character that get mentioned in this category.

4. Jessica Chastain – The Help – The best in the cast, plus with her insane year, she will need to get nominated for one of them. This is her most memorable part.

5. Vanessa Redgrave – Coriolanus – She is becoming more and more likely to get nominated here. That movie is a dark horse.

Others in contention

6. Berenice Bejo – The Artist – Unknown actress, but she is said to steal the show.

7. Keira Knightley – A Dangerous Method – She appears to be the best in the cast from the trailer, but she has shined before in more Oscar material and not gotten in.

8. Kate Winslet – Carnage – Who knows if she or the rest of the cast is going lead or supporting?

9. Jessica Chastain – The Tree of Life, Take Shelter, Coriolanus – She will get in for one of these if she doesn’t for The Help.

10. Sarah Silverman – Take This Waltz – I do not want to completely count her out. I have faith in this movie. Maybe I am the only one who cares.

11. Elizabeth Reaser – Young Adult – I do not even think she was in the trailer, but she could come out of nowhere.

12. Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids – I would die a little inside if she gets nominated.


The Predicted Five

1. Kenneth Branagh – My Week with Marilyn – This is going to be a big role, and the British will certainly get behind him.

2. Christopher Plummer – Beginners – This performance is perhaps the most beloved of the year’s first half and could very well take it all the way to the Oscars.

3. Brad Pitt – The Tree of Life – This is that one forgotten amazing performance that will get overlooked everywhere but the Oscars. Mark my words.

4. Niels Arestrup – War Horse – He is the dark horse in the competition because he is relatively unknown to American audiences but will certainly steal the show in his scenes.

5. Patton Oswalt – Young Adult – His part in the trailer was more significant than I had anticipated. Looks to be a scene-stealer.

Others in contention

6. Albert Brooks – Drive – After seeing the movie, I realized his part, while impressive, is just too small. His veteran card will get him some mentions, but he will fall just short here.

7. Max von Sydow – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – He may have to keep waiting for that inevitable Honorary Oscar.

8. Jonah Hill – Moneyball – The best performance in the movie. His part is so interesting and spot-on that he has a real shot here.

9. Jim Broadbent – The Iron Lady – Playing opposite Streep has its benefits.

10. Viggo Mortensen – A Dangerous Method – Said to be great in this film directed by the guy who got him his first nom.

11. Armie Hammer – J. Edgar – This could be the Brolin in Milk/Giamatti in Cinderella Man “sorry we forgot you last year” nomination.

12. Tom Hanks – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – He is never really out of it.

13. John C. Reilly – Carnage – Being directed by Polanski is always a plus.

14. Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Ides of March – Had a couple terrific scenes, but his cast was just as good.


The Predicted Five

1. Michelle Williams – My Week with Marilyn – It is hard to see her not at least getting nominated for this role. She has to be the frontrunner.

2. Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady – I see her getting nominated obviously, but winning just may never happen for her again.

3. Rooney Mara – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – The trailer almost locked her into this category if she is indeed lead. The original was more about the Craig character.

4. Elizabeth Olsen – Martha Marcy May Marlene – Everything I hear is raves for Olsen. She will probably get in.

5. Viola Davis – The Help – I fear that going lead will hurt her chances, but her raves were so universal that it is hard to see a scenario where she doesn’t get in.

Others in contention

6. Kristen Dunst – Melancholia – She won at Cannes, but the film may be too weird for the Oscars. I have faith in her though.

7. Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs – She has the transformation role that normally gets nominated, but she is often overlooked.

8. Felicity Jones – Like Crazy – She could be one of the new faces in the crowd.

9. Tilda Swinton – We Need to Talk About Kevin – Her role promises to be gutsy, and the initial reviews have put the spotlight on her role.

10. Jodie Foster – Carnage – It is hard to judge the category placement for any of the actors in this.

11. Charlize Theron – Young Adult – She will probably be terrific in this, but a nomination seems unlikely considering the work she does between her really good roles.


The Predicted Five

1. Jean Dujardin – The Artist – I do not know why, but I feel like this is the most likely winner in any major category at this point.

2. George Clooney – The Descendents – This is almost a lock for a nomination.

3. Leonardo DiCaprio – J. Edgar – It is hard to see the Academy not nominating DiCaprio for this role that he will likely nail.

4. Gary Oldman – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – Everyone knows he is the best living actor without a nomination. If he is half good in this, he will get nominated.

5. Brad Pitt – Moneyball – His superstar status and likability will get him tons of notices. If he takes home a critic award or two and secures BFCA and HFPA nominations, then this is a foregone conclusion.

Others in contention

6. Michael Fassbender – Shame – Talks of NC-17 are scary, but it didn’t hurt Michelle Williams last year.

7. Woody Harrelson – Rampart – Maybe my most anticipated film, Harrelson will likely own in his second Moverman film.

8. Christoph Waltz – Carnage – Who knows?

9. Michael Shannon – Take Shelter – This looks amazing, and Shannon is always cool to see in the race.

10. Ryan Gosling – Drive – This is his most likely nomination for his huge year.

11. Paul Giamatti – Win Win – We wrote off Richard Jenkins for his early year release in a McCarthy film too. I wouldn’t completely count him out.

12. Sean Penn – This Must be the Place – I have no clue about this movie, but from the pictures I have seen, Penn will likely overplay it. That is usually enough for him at the Oscars.


The Predicted Five

1. Stephen Daldry – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Maybe they will just finally give him a win so that they can stop nominating him for everything.

2. Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist – Will get nominated for sure, but can he win?

3. Steven Spielberg – War Horse – Seems like a lock to many, but I am not convinced that this will live up to the hype.

4. Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life – I hope I am right about this. The Tree of Life is all Malick. It is foolish to think that he does not deserve a nomination at least.

5. David Fincher – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Maybe this is the ultimate wishful thinking, but I believe in him and the material.

Others in contention

6. Jason Reitman – Young Adult­ – Always in the running, but this may be a bit too light.

7. Alexander Payne – The Descendents – I am not sold on it, but everyone who has seen it is. Good enough for me.

8. Clint Eastwood – J. Edgar – Can they continue to snub him?

9. Tate Taylor – The Help – His film is poised for a huge Best Picture push, which immediately makes him a possibility.

10. Tomas Alfredson – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – His film may get in, but his recognition may have to still wait.

11. Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris – I am really curious to see how this is remembered in the coming months.

12. George Clooney – The Ides of March – Well-directed film, but reviews were not exactly what we were hoping for.

13. Nicolas Winding Refn – Drive – Could be the coolest nomination since William Hurt if it happens. He will need a couple critic awards to be taken completely seriously, though, even after his Cannes win.

14. Bennett Miller – Moneyball – If his movie is popular enough, then he could get swept in. It wasn’t quite as impressive work as Capote, however.

15. Angelina Jolie – In the Land of Blood and Honey – It is said to be epic and beautiful in the tradition of classic Oscar movies. Will anyone see this in time?


The Predicted Ten (I predict 7 will get nominated)

1. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Trailer looks corny, but the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 helps more than we may realize. They may want something inspiring and weepy.

2. The Artist – It is hard to see the actors branch not making this one of the films to beat.

3. The Help – The love for this film is bigger than anyone could have thought. A Best Picture nomination seems almost locked, and I cannot believe I am saying that.

4. War Horse – Whether it is good or not, it will get nominated. See: Munich.

5. The Tree of Life – There are enough Malick fans and fans of the film in general that it will likely get the 5% of the votes needed. Plus, the love/hate intrigue will probably add an interesting storyline to the race, which the AMPAS is always looking for.

6. The Descendents – Alexander Payne movies are usually loved, but this one seems much more like a critics film than an Oscar movie. It will likely snag one of the last spots.

7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – The release date certainly helps. If it leaves everyone breathless, that will translate into a nomination here while it is fresh on everyone’s mind.

8. Moneyball – Everyone seemed to really enjoy it, but is this really Best Picture material?

9. J. Edgar – It screams Oscar, but the bias against Eastwood is hard to ignore.

10. Young Adult – I am not counting this completely out, but the trailer may be too much comedy and not quite enough dramedy.

Others in contention

11. Like Crazy – This is major dark horse in all categories.

12. Midnight in Paris – I have no clue if anyone will remember this, but if they do, it could get nominated for sure.

13. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – This is one of the biggest British threats. They may jump behind it. And does this remind anyone else of The Departed?

14. Martha Marcy May Marlene – The status of this is somewhat unknown. Could it pull a Winter’s Bone?

15. The Ides of March – It seems like more of a Golden Globe film than an Oscar film.

16. Carnage – With potential acting nominations all around, it would be foolish to count it out.

17. Rampart – Sometimes under the radar is the best place to be.

18. In the Land of Blood and Honey – Just because we never know how much the AMPAS loves Hollywood’s most beloved couple.

So, that’s what I got. There are still a ton of films that I have not seen and that no one has really seen, so in the next month and a half, these lists will be whittled down significantly. What do you think? Anything I overlooked? Have you seen any of these at festivals and can provide insight into their award potential? Let me know.