I am a gambling man, a betting man if you will. I will bet on literally anything as long as my bookies will take the bet, and I have a lot of bookies, so they take a lot of bets. I know my film though, so the debt I have built up since the most recent hits I took in a combination of Starcraft II betting, Atlantic City, and Professional Ice Fishing needs to go away and fast before I lose a(nother) body part. So it’s Oscar time baby, and I’m giving you my keys to success, so we can all be winners together!
Yesterday morning the Oscar nominees were announced, each and every category. Like most years there were surprises and disappointments, probably not as many as other years, but we are not here to talk about quality or these disappointments (not directly anyway, we’ll get there friends), we are here to make knee jerk predictions based on my knowledge of the system. As the time of the show comes closer I will do a follow up post in list only form, but I think the fun here is still in making educated guesses. You know what people love? People love nice lists we can check down, so here are some of the methods that result in my madness:
- The King’s Speech leads all nominees with 12 nominations
- Toy Story 3 is nominated for Best Animated Film and Best Picture
- True Grit is the surprise second leading nominee getter
- Christopher Nolan, Mila Kunis, and Andrew Garfield/The Social Network’s supporting cast seem to be the people snubbed
- The Town seems to be the film supplanted by Winter’s Bone
Checklist made. Films screened. Islands shuttered. All systems are go!Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
“127 Hours” Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
“The Social Network” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
“Toy Story 3” Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
“True Grit” Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
“Winter’s Bone” Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini
This category is, for the most part, incredibly strong, both in terms of quality and potential winners. While I would love to see True Grit or Winter’s Bone grab a win here I have called up my bookie who resides by the docks and told him to put it all on The Social Network.
“Inception” Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
“The King’s Speech” Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
“Salt” Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
“The Social Network” Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
“True Grit” Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
Let’s get this out of the way right now, I have not seen Salt. I have had success picking this category in the past, so the millions, literally millions, of dollars that are flying about the underbelly of New Jersey are being funneled toward one of many technical awards for Inception.
Side note: True Grit should win this category.
“Inception” Richard King
“Toy Story 3” Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
“Tron: Legacy” Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
“True Grit” Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
“Unstoppable” Mark P. Stoeckinger
You don’t know how much I want to say Unstoppable. Because these predictions, they are unstoppable. I almost ended up in a river last year when I made blind guesses in categories I do not know a difference between. Mixing must be the creation of sound while editing is the splicing of sound. Inception will win this, and I won’t be in the river.
Documentary (Short Subject)
“Killing in the Name” Nominees to be determined
“Poster Girl” Nominees to be determined
“Strangers No More” Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
“Sun Come Up” Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
“The Warriors of Qiugang” Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon
Here we go, this is where I find my odds. I don’t know what the odds, all I know is that I will take them. My logic here is that some of these nominees are still to be determined, so we can either cut them or pick between them. Sometimes I need to trust my instincts, which are mostly recovered from what the debt collectors did around this time last year, and my instincts tell me to select, most astutely, Strangers No More.
“Exit through the Gift Shop” Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz
“Gasland” Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
“Inside Job” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
“Restrepo” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
“Waste Land” Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley
I am oddly much more familiar with these nominations than I have any right to be given the paltry amount of docs watched on my current list. I was not as enamored with Gift Shop as many were, and my inside sources tell me that the inability of Academy voters to realize it is not real helps its chances. I think the allure of seeing who accepts if it wins would be enough to give it my vote. Restrepo will probably win because it was billed as similar to The Hurt Locker, so that’s where my dwindling funds are being placed.
Writing (Original Screenplay)
“Another Year” Written by Mike Leigh
“The Fighter” Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson;
Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
“Inception” Written by Christopher Nolan
“The Kids Are All Right” Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
“The King’s Speech” Screenplay by David Seidler
Mike Leigh’s ability to consistently get nominated in this category is rivaled only by my own ability to consistently forget about his films while they are in theaters. That won’t happen this year though, as Another Year is currently on my slate for this weekend. If these picks go wrong I may only have a few left. You know what also won’t happen though? The King’s Speech won’t lose this award.
“Alice in Wonderland” Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
“Hereafter” Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
“Inception” Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
“Iron Man 2” Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick
Black Swan should be nominated here. I now have nine toes because Black Swan is not nominated. Let us not make it eight. Let me forget those memories. Let it be Alice in Wonderland.
Short Film (Live Action)
“The Confession” Tanel Toom
“The Crush” Michael Creagh
“God of Love” Luke Matheny
“Na Wewe” Ivan Goldschmidt
“Wish 143” Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite
I am not going to lie to you, my most beloved friend. I have not seen these films, I am not putting any of my funds or appendages on this category. However, I just received an email telling me I have inherited a fortune from Africa, so I’m putting half of that large sum on The Crush.
Short Film (Animated)
“Day & Night” Teddy Newton
“The Gruffalo” Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
“Let’s Pollute” Geefwee Boedoe
“The Lost Thing” Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
“Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)” Bastien Dubois
I have seen one of these films, if Day & Night was not so mainstream I would pick it based on recognition alone. However, this fortune only cost me some personal information! I can take chances! Put it all on Let’s Pollute because of that short film about consumerism that won and I have forgotten about a year later.
Music (Original Score)
“How to Train Your Dragon” John Powell
“Inception” Hans Zimmer
“The King’s Speech” Alexandre Desplat
“127 Hours” A.R. Rahman
“The Social Network” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Arguing against Hans Zimmer here is tough based on how recognizable he made that score. Arguing against Hans Zimmer in real life is even tougher. The past tells me that There Will Be Blood, also scored by notable musicians, was not even nominated. However, I have specifically trained myself to repress the past entirely. So we are going to go with The Social Network.
Music (Original Song)
“Coming Home” from “Country Strong” Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
“I See the Light” from “Tangled” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
“If I Rise” from “127 Hours” Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3″ Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
This category is boring this year, and mostly bad. I should have saved some of that fortune. People like Paltrow, I think, but people also like Newman. Toy Story 3 is the more recognizable film though, so I’ll go with that one.
“Barney’s Version” Adrien Morot
“The Way Back” Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
“The Wolfman” Rick Baker and Dave Elsey
Guess there was not a lot of great make up this year, huh Academy? That is unfortunate because after last year I needed a professional make up artist for about two months so that the cops would stop asking questions. My inclination is to always go with what is likely the worst film in this category, so I’ll go with The Wolfman!
“Alice in Wonderland”
Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1”
Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
“The King’s Speech”
Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Judy Farr
Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
I think that Alice will probably win one of the art categories. Since I picked it for the other, I will pick The King’s Speech for this one.
“Alice in Wonderland” Colleen Atwood
“I Am Love” Antonella Cannarozzi
“The King’s Speech” Jenny Beavan
“The Tempest” Sandy Powell
“True Grit” Mary Zophres
Once again, Alice has the flash. As does The Tempest, maybe, but I have not seen that film. However, each year this category goes to a period piece. I Am Love should win this award, but when you have a period piece competing for Best Picture The King’s Speech should walk away with this award easily.
Foreign Language Film
“In a Better World” Denmark
“Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)” Algeria
I have tried something new, which has been placing bets offshore. These collectors can’t track me down. Probably. I now know about all of these films, and because Babel had fans I guess Biutiful is the obvious choice, but I hear that film is not all that great. Dogtooth probably won’t win because Haneke did not win. The only film I know nothing about is Outside the Law, so I’m literally putting all my money on that one to win.
“Black Swan” Andrew Weisblum
“The Fighter” Pamela Martin
“The King’s Speech” Tariq Anwar
“127 Hours” Jon Harris
“The Social Network” Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter
Black Swan has to win something, so I will go against the grain and go, hesitantly, with Black Swan.
“Black Swan” Matthew Libatique
“Inception” Wally Pfister
“The King’s Speech” Danny Cohen
“The Social Network” Jeff Cronenweth
“True Grit” Roger Deakins
The Academy loves montages like I love trashy Euro-pop. I am willing to stake my entire collection of Girls Aloud albums on Roger Deakins finally taking home an Oscar for his wonderful work, though hardly his best work, in True Grit.
Animated Feature Film
“How to Train Your Dragon” Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
“The Illusionist” Sylvain Chomet
“Toy Story 3” Lee Unkrich
A sad thing has happened to The Illusionist, but let us not dwell on the film that shan’t win. Toy Story 3 is the lock of the night.
Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale in “The Fighter”
John Hawkes in “Winter’s Bone”
Jeremy Renner in “The Town”
Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”
Geoffrey Rush in “The King’s Speech”
One time I went deep in the hole on Pro Bass Fishing bets and found myself locked in a trunk. I don’t know if it was a car trunk or a luggage trunk. I woke up in an airport’s parking lot. I think I was in Boston. I also think Christian Bale in The Fighter is a lock.
Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams in “The Fighter”
Helena Bonham Carter in “The King’s Speech”
Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”
Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”
Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”
This category is tough because of the stock The King’s Speech holds and because Carter has never won, also they mispronounced her name at the nominations. Leo seems to be the front runner while Weaver gives a much better, similar, performance in a better film. But, as my Best Lead Performances post told you, Hailee Steinfeld is a force, a mislabeled force, but still a force, so True Grit wins.
Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech”
James Franco in “127 Hours”
Colin Firth was, arguably (I would not take this side), better than Jeff Bridges last year. Jeff Bridges is, easily, better than Firth this year. James Franco is probably better than everyone. The King’s Speech has my money, even with 1:1000 odds.
Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter’s Bone”
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”
When I used to have hair that was my own and not the kind the grass the mob put on my head I had it cut like Annette Bening. She ha a chance here, but I will ride the Portman wave and give the advantage to the great film, Black Swan.
“Black Swan” Darren Aronofsky
“The Fighter” David O. Russell
“The King’s Speech” Tom Hooper
“The Social Network” David Fincher
“True Grit” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
I keep telling myself this will be the year that the real best director wins, but let’s be realistic, Aronofsky does not have a chance, nor do the Coens, because Black Swan won’t win Best Picture and the Coens have just won a few years ago. Fincher is going to win for The Social Network, but the fact that Fincher, Hooper, and Russel are being considered for Best Director is more pathetic than my winning percentage.
“Black Swan” Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
“The Fighter” David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
“Inception” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
“The Kids Are All Right” Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
“The King’s Speech” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
“127 Hours” Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
“The Social Network” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
“Toy Story 3” Darla K. Anderson, Producer
“True Grit” Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
“Winter’s Bone” Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers
There has been a push for The King’s Speech and as of late that safe, and boring, film has taken the lead. Oddly, half of the nominees this year are at least good films. Three are mediocre. Two are bad. I am still putting the remaining coins I have on what is not the best film, but is certainly a great film: The Social Network.
These picks are lock, literally locks. I don’t need to see everything in those little categories to get all 24 categories correct, my knowledge of Entertainment Tonight mixed with my source at that discount barber shop have steered me wrong only minimal times in the past. If you want a full recap then feel free to click here for just the picks without the text.
Note: These guesses are locks, you can take them to the bank, but I cannot legally encourage any activity. I also will take no responsibility if you do not apply my system correctly.
Comments are encouraged and, for anyone with a literary mind, I encourage checking out my poetry blog filled with all original works for your reading pleasure.