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Sunday, 29 January 2012

Academy Awards - Thoughts

Okay so the nominees were announced last week and I figured it gives me something to write about.  Before going ahead I should mention that due to geography, I am aware I haven't been able to see every single movie up for an Oscar; even if every movie nominated WAS released in the UK in time, I couldn't physically predict and then see every possible one.  So as is always the case, these are my thoughts on the upcoming Oscars based on what I HAVE seen :)

See here for all nominees


I have seen surprisingly few of the nominees, though I am excited about the forthcoming Exremely Loud And Incredibly Close.  Having been so disappointed by the book, I am dubious, but am lead to understand it is a near perfect movie from a man who seems to handle potentially overly-sentimental material nicely.  I don't think it poses a threat in this category though.  Of what I have seen, The Artist should take it.  What will take it?  I can see a tug-of-war between The Artist, Hugo and War Horse.

Where is?: The Conspirator or Drive


We all know that Gary Oldman is our favourite for this one, as it will be his first win, and despite the film being a rather muddy affair, his nomination is certainly deserved.  I'm liking Jean Dujardin for The Artist, and despite not having seen it, I understand George Clooney gives a surprising turn in The Descendants (a movie that is generally getting more praise than anyone would have expected).  Owing, however, to the fact that there seem to be an unwritten law preventing Clooney or Pitt ever actually winning anything, my gut says there could be an upset on this one and we see Demian Bichir take it for his role in A Better Life, and apparently deservedly so!

Where is?: Sir Ben Kingsley, Tom Hardy, Michael Fassbender and Ryan Gosling.  Epic fail on this one!


I don't think anyone needs a crystal ball to see who will probably take this on the night, though I can see a potential upset here also.  It comes down to politics: Streep could win on the basis of her reputation as one of their sweethearts giving another maginificent performance as an infamous British Prime Minister (they love Meryl and they love British; do the maths), but then they may also consider it an unnecessary award, given her reputation and name already (aided by the fact the film received a very poor critical reception); they may figure the accolade is better given to someone more fresh.  This brings into the frame Rooney Mara for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, a superb transformation for a newcomer, and well deserving of the nomination.  That said, it may be a case that they feel such a recognition for such a big role, such a dark role, and so early in this girl's career, may not do her future any good (besides financially, of course).  This leads me to consider (and very much like) the possibility that Michelle Williams might win for My Week With Marilyn.  Another film I did not get around to seeing, but for a woman whose life fell apart only a few years ago, I don't think she has really had the recognition for her efforts to keep going when she could have just disappeared for a long time (see Shutter Island and  Blue Valentine).  So whilst not at all based on any real evidence, my feeling is that it would be nice to see her take it home.

Where is?: Keira Knightely and Tilda Swinton


For me there are three strong candidates here: Nick Nolte, Christopher Plummer and Max Von Sydow.  They supposedly all give showstopping performances, but having only seen Nolte, I have to go with him for his role in Warrior, which was absolutely real and heartbreaking!  He made real a man it would have been so easy to dismiss on paper.  I'd be happy to see him not just written off as an ex-hack and actually recognised as the terrific performer he can be, given the right material, as he was with this film.


This is a tough one for me to call, as it is the category for which I have seen the least nominees, though by gut instinct alone, I'm going to say there's a fight on between Berenice Bejo for The Artist, Melissa McCarthy for Bridesmaids, and perhaps Janet McTeer for Albert Nobbs.

Where is?: Chloe Grace Moretz (How many times does this little lady have to be incredible before someone actually puts her in for a nomination?)


This is a fun one to discuss, because the nominees are all arguably equally worthy.  Due to the efforts made to learn how to shoot a film all over again, The Artist has a good chance.  My gut,  however, says that it has some tough and deserved competition in Hugo, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The Tree Of Life.  A tough one to call, and if any of the above win, I won't moan.

Where is?: Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close, and Drive


The Artist or Hugo.  Anything else pales.  Should be noted I'm not a fan of Harry Potter, so perhaps that's in for the fight as well?


Hard to see anything but Jane Eyre winning this actually, although I wouldn't be surprised The Artist got in here as well.

Where is?:  Ths Conspirator


Michael Havanavicus vs. Martin Scorsese.  Ding ding! :)

Where is?:  Robert Redford and David Fincher.  Both completely criminal oversites!


An extremely tough one to call this year, because the one film that should win isn't even nominated.  Of what is there, I think I'd like to see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo take this.

Where is?:  Source Code!!!! Grrr


I will be extremely surprised if anything other than A Separation wins this.

Where is?: Julia's Eyes


Erm.....Iron Lady, maybe?


Ludovic Bource was extremely creative and fun with his music for The Artist, but this is one that could be a bit of a toss up.  All nominations' score worked well, so it's hard to say.  Oh, other than the fact that, once again, the winner isn't in there!

Where is?: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Okay, all Trent Reznor asskissing aside, this was a creepy, dark, perfectly used score that became a character in the movie.  It is ironic that they won for The Social Network, which was debatable, and here, where they have done something better and more immersive and exciting, they don't even get the nominaton).  Had this been nominated, it would be my winner all the way.


Drive, without question!


It would be hard to pick a better sounding film that The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  The detail of the sound is ridiculous!


I like Hugo for this, and as much as it pains me to say it, I can imagine Transformers being in with a chance too.  That said, my gut is saying Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes.


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is pretty likely, but none of it matter because...

Where is?:: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, A Dangerous Method and We Need To Talk About Kevin


I thoroughly enjoyed the snappy script that was Margin Call (a movie I recommend you rent when you can), but given that no one else really cares much about that one, let's say it will be The Artist.

Where is?: Warrior (to write something that cliched, and yet that impressive, deserves some recognition), Shame or The Conspirator......again!

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