Sunday, February 27, 2011

Virtual Oscar Pool 2011

What better way to get back into blogging than my annual Oscar predictions! Last year I got only five right out of the ten categories I predicted, which was not my best showing. Let's see how I do this year. As always, this is who I think will win, not who should win.

Best Actor: Colin Firth, obvs. I'm happy about this because I loved him so much in A Single Man, and over the years I've gotten comfortable with the whole "earn an Oscar for previous work" thing. Also, one of my childhood babysitters knows his parents, so I like to pretend I do too. Also, MR. DARCY!!!!

Supporting Actor: My big caveat this year is that I did not see The Fighter, which is obviously playing a big part in the acting categories. Here we've got Crazy Christian Bale versus frequent flyer Geoffrey Rush. I'm going with Rush.

Best Actress: I think Natalie Portman is going to win, unfortunately. Not that she was bad, I just wasn't into it.

Supporting Actress: So wide open that it seems silly to make a pick. My friend Ross is betting on a HBC upset; I think if there is an upset it might tilt towards Hailee. However, despite the craziness I think Leo is going to get it, for nothing else if because The Fighter needs to win something.

Animated Feature: Toy Story 3, as if I need to say it.

Cinematography: A bit of a crap shoot as always, this category, usually simply pointing towards Best Picture. Will Inception get a token sympathy vote? Probably not. I myself loved the purity and formalism of True Grit here...but I think I'm going to officially guess Social Network. Which is too bad.

Screenplay: King's Speech, by default. Has just one author (Academy likes that), who has a touching personal story (overcame a stutter himself), etc. Most importantly, it offends nobody.

Adapted Screenplay: I fear that I must predict Social Network here. This drives me nuts. It wasn't a bad movie, but actually the screenplay was the most problematic thing for me. I'm no fan of Mark Zuckerberg, but writing a movie about a real person, then fictionalizing one of the most important plot elements--the framing device of him wanting to get a girl--I find strangely creepy, and it makes me feel sympathetic towards Zuckerberg. Which I don't like feeling.

Score: I genuinely liked Trent Reznor's score, and hope it wins. However, the Academy often goes conservative when it comes to scoring. I think Hans Zimmer here--safe, but memorable.

Song: Randy Newman's to lose, as is always the case when he is nominated.

Directing and Best Picture: I think we might see a split this year. My thinking is that King's Speech will win Best Picture, mostly by default for lack of a strong single other competitor. But I sense a lingering sentiment out there that the Brit pic is old-fashioned. As James Franco said in a recent interview, it's a bit safe. That's hogwash; of course it's safe, so are most of the major contenders for Best Picture. But it's such an obvious type for this category that I think the Academy voters might branch out for director. But the typical Academy voter's idea of "daring" has nothing to do with actual daring filmmaking, and instead focuses on movies that are about hot topics, or at least what a typical voter (average age supposedly in the late 50s) thinks is a hot topic. So I predict best director will go to Fincher for his look at that new-fangled computer thingy the kids use, "the Facebook." Which was a hot topic about seven years ago, but whatever.